NBA gets it right again

NBA gets it right again
August 12
13:15 2020

Let me start by stating the obvious: the NBA bubble is working remarkably well on all fronts. I didn’t think it was going to work out as well as it has, but the other leagues need to take notice and possibly adapt their season plans to include some sort of isolation for their season.

First off, the NBA’s bubble has had its desired affect by keeping COVID-19 cases out. Since the return of the NBA, the league has not reported any new COVID-19 cases. This is great news for the league and hopefully it can continue, because surprisingly the games have been very entertaining to watch, even without fans.  

I thought not having any fans in the building would make the games a little boring. We all love the crowd noise and chants of “defense” from the home fans down the stretch of a close game, but with the pandemic going on, we would have to do without.  

To my surprise, I have not really noticed the absence of the crowd. The artificial crowd noise and the excellent job of many of the play-by-play and color commentators have made the lack of a crowd not that noticeable.

It seems the bench players are picking up the slack by becoming more animated throughout the game. I also like how some arenas will put pictures of the fans who are watching the game up on the jumbotrons to give them a sense of inclusion. I don’t think the NBA could be happier with the initial results of the resumption of their season. Their quick thinking and routine testing are most likely why almost all of their players have elected to play this season instead of sitting it out.

The same can’t be said for all sports leagues. Major League Baseball (MLB) has started their season, but they have not fared as well as the NBA. MLB chose not to isolate their teams inside of a “bubble” and elected to use stringent testing measures to try to make sure the virus does not affect their season.

MLB has essentially struck out thus far, pun intended. So far there have been two teams with COVID-19 outbreaks.  The Miami Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals have thrown a monkey wrench into the season outlook for MLB. I know baseball was hoping for the best and assumed their players would take the necessary precautions, but all they had to do was watch the news to see that restrictions have to be put in place if you want to ensure everyone will follow the rules.

I understand that these are grown men as well as being professional athletes, but they are also human. I also get that most of the players are probably taking the proper precautions to ensure they are not placing themselves in danger, but all it takes is one player to make it risky for everyone else. I was once a young man in my 20s and it would be difficult to make me stay in the house on a Friday night, even if a pandemic was ravaging our country.  

Now try and put yourself in the position of a 25-year-old multi-millionaire and ask if you would want to just stay at home; I doubt most would. This is one of the main reasons why MLB should have been more proactive and saved the players from themselves, so to speak. They often do it with injuries and protecting the confidence of young players, so what makes this scenario any different?

After seeing initial success of the NBA and the failures of MLB, I expect the NFL to learn from both of them and make sure they do the right thing. I am not sure with the high number of NFL players on a team that you can put the entire league in a “bubble” in one city, but I am sure they can come up with some sort of plan that will work best for them.

The very nature of the sport of football includes being in close proximity to other players, so it is imperative that they get it right. Football is the most popular sport in the country and if the season were to somehow be canceled, it would be catastrophic for players and owners. I am going to lean on the side of optimism and assume the NFL will do the right thing.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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