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One-on-one: The NBA is suspended, should it be back soon?

It needs to return to action soon

BY ALLAN KABESE 

In 1941, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the MLB decided to continue its season despite the start of World War II. Having baseball helped many people globally deal with the war and get their minds on something else.

The NBA could play a similar role amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Professional basketball will help fans across the world get their minds away from this pandemic. During this time when we are encouraged to practice social distancing, stay home and quarantine ourselves when feeling sick, having basketball on television can provide people with some distraction.

The NBA should resume its season in June or maybe earlier if deemed safe enough.

We must also acknowledge that there are more people involved in producing an NBA game than just the players and coaches. Broadcasting crews, camera operators and security among others work behind the scenes to make games possible. 

Paying those workers is not as simple as owners or networks writing paychecks for all the employees. A handful of NBA teams do not own the arenas they operate. Some of the arena workers have to rely on those that operate the arenas for compensation.

Games should be played behind closed doors. Only players and team staff should be allowed in arenas. Broadcasting crews will also have to be made smaller. This would heavily affect the quality of the broadcast and keep the season alive while also limiting the risk of the spread.

The league would have to adopt strict hygienic measures in order to make it happen. Every accessible part of the arenas must be thoroughly sanitized and all limit unnecessary physical touch.

Each player and staff member would have to be tested before this happened. Those who test positive for COVID-19 will be quarantined. All players who feel any form of symptoms at any point in the season will also have to be quarantined.

Adopting these measures would provide an adequate level of safety for the players and everyone else involved in making games happen. It will also provide fans with something to think about other than the coronavirus.

 

It was smart in being proactive and should wait it out

BY JACOB STEINBERG

It was inevitable that a huge decision with a pandemic of this magnitude was going to happen at some point. The NBA is dealing with it well.

Last Wednesday, March 11, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).  The news came about 45 minutes after the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder postponed their game. Considering a player got infected with the virus that is putting the world on pause, the NBA had no choice but to suspend its season. 

Many players in the NBA have already tested positive for the coronavirus. Also, all 30 NBA teams could be connected in the prior five days to when Gobert tested positive for the virus, putting the entire league at risk.

Playing behind closed doors would not have been a viable option for keeping the league going during a crisis. If the NBA decided to go down that route, players could have been further exposed to the virus as well as everyone who is involved in the entertainment offering. The number one priority of the NBA in this situation is to keep its fans and players safe. That option would have only accomplished half of its goal.

It is unfortunate that fans were robbed of a potential championship chase for the ages. Gobert’s diagnosis was the worst-case scenario for the NBA. He and his teammates are quarantined, and the six teams the Jazz faced in the 10 days prior to the suspension were forced to self-isolate. 

Plus, the NBA will be losing millions of dollars in television, gate and concessions revenue. In the end, this is terrible for both the teams and the arena workers who will be losing income for the foreseeable future.

Though it comes at a cost, the NBA had no choice but to suspend its season at the time it did. It is unfortunate, but it was the right choice, to say the least. Protecting players and fans from a generational pandemic that is rapidly spreading throughout the world is much bigger than the game of basketball and all sports in general.

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