The NBA and Coronavirus have kept close company since Rudy Gobert was found to have tested positive for COVID-19 on March, 11th. Then, Adam Silver was the first North American sports commissioner to put a halt to the season. This week, the NBA released a proposed playoff bracket in which the 16 teams in playoff positions would be seeded regardless of their conference. I’m sure this isn’t news to you as an NBA fan, but I just want to take a moment to acknowledge how the NBA is making lemonade out of COVID-19 lemons.
I think a tweet I sent out this week pretty much sums it up:
The NBA and Coronavirus Plus the Battle of LA
The Battle of LA has been the NBA conversation since Kawhi Leonard opted to leave the first-time Champion Toronto Raptors during the off-season. The sunnier climes of LA have long been the quiet superstar’s preferred NBA home.
It’s no surprise that because of this move, an all-LA Western Conference Finals had been considered the most attractive outcome to the 2019-20 NBA playoffs. For fans and the league alike, the Lakers vs the Clippers would have been the ultimate scenario.
Then COVID-19 struck and life as we knew it ceased to exist. Loss of income, struggles to pay rent, and unparalleled uncertainty has become part of our everyday lives. And yet, the NBA and Coronavirus together have made the impossible possible.
Should the NBA move ahead with the proposed bracket above, an all-LA Finals is firmly within the realm of possibility. What the actual hell!? I’m not the kind of NBA fan that is super excited about this possibility. I mean, not unless you can guarantee me LeBron is going to get his ass handed to him. Now that would drastically impact my level of interest.
But I have to hand it to Silver from a business standpoint. It would have been easy to begin the playoffs with the traditional Eastern/Western conference format. I don’t think people even would have thought to feel any kind of way about that. I know I wouldn’t have.
Instead, Adam Silver is taking a once in a century (hopefully) pandemic and using the strangeness and unfamiliarity of it to propose something that would have been impossible under any other circumstances.
The man is good!
Follow me on Twitter @auxiliarythings and check out my podcast, Hardcourt Hunnies for all the alternative NBA takes you can handle. For more NBA content, check out everything the Belly Up Hoops team has to offer.