The 2019-2020 basketball season was going smoothly, as it was supposed to be the year where the Los Angeles Lakers won a championship in honor of the late Kobe Bryant. That all changed when the covid-19 pandemic came onto the court to play and players were tested positive. The whole world watched officials walk onto the court and stop the Thunder vs. Jazz game in a full arena. Moments later the NBA announced the suspension of this season. The NBA has experienced 4 lockouts in its history, due to deals and trades, but never because of a pandemic. After 3 months without watching nightly games the NBA has finally announced their plan on coming back. This time in a not so traditional way.
Many teams scream that they’re going to Disney after winning a championship, but not this year. On July 31st there will be 22 teams heading down to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The NBA and Disney reached an agreement where players will stay at the resort and practice on the on site courts. The games will be played with no fans but televised for everyone at home to see. Although many people are used to watching games in the comfort of their own home, it will not be the same without the yelling fans in the background. It will also be interesting to see how players perform without the energy of fans cheering them on. Some players have been training home but some like Giannis Antetokounmpo have not been playing basketball exactly. The Bucks power forward told ESPN that he doesn’t have access to a basketball hoop at his home so he’s been bike riding and weight lifting.
With all of these dates being pushed it’s hard not to think about how this will affect the future seasons. The NBA announced that the draft lottery will take place on August 25th and the official draft will take place mid October. After a little over a month of season we can expect for the NBA to be back in December for the 2020-2021 season. Although the covid-pandemic caused a lot of plans to be changed, the NBA is doing its best to get things back to normal. They plan on having strict safety protocols and regular testing for players. Although things are not fully back to normal, having the NBA back is a big plus in some fans lives.