After weeks of waiting, we finally received word on a potential return date for the NBA. According to commission Adam Silver, the league is targeting July 31st for its long-anticipated return.
Since the news was announced, a number of questions have surfaced. Where will the games be played? Will all teams participate?
In regards to the latter, stars like Damian Lillard and Harrison Barnes have spoken out against playing in “meaningless” games. And, in a report by The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Jordan agrees.
Hornets owner Michael Jordan advocated on the call for player safety, and not simply having players return for meaningless games, sources said. Given the NBA is prioritizing health and safety first and foremost, 30 team return is unlikely. https://t.co/03pAvpDPi7
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 29, 2020
As Shams states, a number of proposals have emerged — including 16 teams going directly to the playoffs, 20 teams playing in stage play, 22 games to determine seeding, a play-in tournament for the final seed(s) and 30 teams playing a 72-game regular season with a play-in tourney.
Obviously, Mike doesn’t want teams to play games that don’t matter. And why would he? Without a postseason to play for, what point is there to risk the health and safety of players? Unless the league elects to have a play-in tourney, it’s unlikely non-playoff teams will play another game this season — and yes, that includes the 23-42 Hornets.
Still, that’s better than not having basketball at all. Here’s to hoping for a quick and successful return.