The NBA is one of the many sports league who are trying to find a way to get their season back on track amid the coronavirus pandemic.
With so many hurdles to overcome now, there’s certainly a question of whether or not this season can be salvaged at all. Multiple NBA players have spoken about what it would take to get themselves and the rest of the league ready to play professional basketball again, including former Wildcat and current Celtics forward Enes Kanter.
Kanter reportedly told media that “it will take NBA players a minimum of two-to-three weeks to be ready to play games” on a conference call, according to Keith Smith at NBC Sports.
“You can’t just say ‘OK, we’re going to play the games a week later.’ Some players are doing some things. Some players are in their apartments not doing anything. We need to make sure everybody is doing their stuff and is in good shape to go out there and compete if we jump straight into playoffs,” said Kanter.
Several NBA players have agreed on that, whether it be a period of time to hold a mini-camp or to have games before they jump into games as important as those in the NBA Playoffs. A majority of the players haven't had access to a gym and would need some stretch of time once the NBA is back to get back into game shape.
If they go with the camp route, they risk losing the remainder of the regular season. If they don’t play the remaining regular season games, though, playoff races would be officially over and the seeding would be final. That could dramatically change outcomes both for teams who would be eliminated and for playoff matchups. Overall, there’s likely no perfect or ideal way to finish the season if they even get to finish it at all.
If they do find a way to finish the season, the NBA will almost certainly have to decide on one of these ways to get their players back in shape before they start playing again. There’s just too much risk and potential for injury or bad basketball on their biggest stage if they were to just jump right into the postseason. Kanter and several other players have spoken and are right, but this situation may ultimately have the league’s hands tied.
It’s doubtful we’ll have any official word about the NBA season until at least May 1st per NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. It’s all mostly going to be speculation until then.