Over the course of the past few days, the world around us has seemed to come to a halt. Almost every major sports league has put an indefinite pause to their seasons, such as the NBA, PGA, and MLB. Even March Madness has been cancelled. While I think these cancellations are just, I don’t think the NBA and NCAA should just throw this season away entirely.
With about 19 games left in the NBA season, multiple teams are still vying for a playoff spot. The Los Angeles Lakers and the Milwaukee Bucks were the only two teams to have clinched a playoff spot at the time of the league-wide pause, which means the postseason was anything but set in stone.The NBA season is 82 games long and runs from October to early June, when the NBA Finals are played. Teams have been grinding for about six months to put themselves in positions to make a run for the Finals, and if you cancel the season entirely until next October, it puts all of that hard work out the window.
Consider LeBron James. At 35 years old, his window for success is closing rapidly. James’ Lakers sit at the top of the Western Conference and were seen as one of the major favorites to win it all this year. If this season ends, then James’ next chance at the postseason won’t be until he’s 36 and a half.
James is arguably the NBA’s biggest star. It would be a huge blow to the NBA if the postseason were cancelled entirely instead of being pushed back to June or July. I propose they push the postseason back, and then start the 2020-2021 season in mid-November. That would give fans the best of both worlds.
If there is still concern for the virus by the time they play the postponed playoffs, then they can play with no fans in the building. By June or July, our nation should hopefully have found a protocol for how to deal with the virus and will be able to allow sporting events.
Also, seniors on NCAA basketball teams are now forced to have their careers ended without a chance at seeing one more March Madness run. Some seniors were relying on March Madness to solidify themselves as serious NBA prospects. Without the tournament and any opportunity for more play time, they could see their NBA dreams ruined.
So instead of March Madness, why not May Madness? June Madness? It would be a change of pace and would be one of the most talked about sporting events ever. And like I mentioned earlier, if you need to play the games without fans, then so be it.
The situation our country is in right now is not an easy one. Day by day, we’re seeing more and more events being cancelled. I agree that it is better to be safe than sorry, and that these cancellations are likely going to help suppress the spread of the virus.
We are currently living in a page of a future history book. Something like this has never been seen, where all sports leagues have called it quits and told everyone to go home. It’s hard to speculate as to where we will go next, but I think that if it’s safe to play basketball in June or July, the NBA and NCAA should wholeheartedly prepare a postseason.