The NBA has found itself in a tight spot with many of the other sports in the United States as they have decided to suspend the 2019-20 season indefinitely due to the coronavirus. That has put a big blanket over the future of this campaign, which has brought forth questions about whether the league could abruptly end it or continue it at a later date. It’s still quite early in the entire process, but the NBA could have one model to go after that could indicate how long they will suspend the season.
NBA suspends 2019-20 season
With the growing concern over the health of their players and coaches, the NBA took things a step further.
The decision to suspend the season came not long after it was discovered that Utah Jazz All-Star center Rudy Gobert has the coronavirus. The league was heading towards banning fans from attending games, but with Gobert and now All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell has been diagnosed the virus, it made shutting things down the appropriate choice.
The NBA is still allowing teams to use their practice facility, but there will be no more games for the time being. The biggest concern is the wellness of the players, and this is the route to take to ensure that this situation doesn’t escalate further at this moment.
There may not be a set timetable, but the NBA could go a similar route to what the Chinese Basketball Association has done with their situation.
How long the NBA could potential suspend the season
With the NBA deciding to go this route, it has created much uncertainty around the future of the 2019-20 season.
There has been no indication of how long the suspension will last, or whether it will be canceled entirely. It’s still quite a fluid situation, but there could be a chance the NBA takes the same approach that the Chinese Basketball Association has made with their season by stopping it for roughly 2 1/2 months. (H/T Brian Windhorst and Tim Bontemps of ESPN)
In reality, it probably will be longer. By comparison, when the virus broke out in China, the Chinese Basketball Association suspended play in late January. The CBA is in the process of resuming play in early April, roughly a 10-week layoff.
That isn’t to suggest this is the plan of action, but a potential route that the NBA could explore. They could watch from afar to see how this impacts the Chinese Basketball Association to see if it works out the best for the players’ safety.
The only thing that has become quite clear in this process is that it will be a lengthy hiatus for the NBA that will see the league operate for what’s best for their players and coaches’ well-being.
There will be more to come beyond the NBA
It could very well be just the tip of the iceberg for how the NBA and other professional sports leagues handle this matter. The MLB is expected to suspend the rest of spring training before the 2020 regular season.
Meanwhile, many conference tournaments such as the Pac-12 and ACC in men’s college basketball have canceled their events. The NCAA is still on the route to play their National Tournament later this month, but will not have fans in attendance outside of players’ family and necessary team staffs.
Until there is significant progress made towards finding a cure or slowing down the virus, the NBA, among other leagues, will continue to take precautionary measures moving forward. It’s a pending matter that requires a significant amount of importance on the overall health and well-being of everyone involved.