Well, here we are folks. The NBA managed to salvage their 2020 NBA season in COIVD times by instituting one of the most incredible (and yet unnecessary) things with their bubble-style playoffs that took place at Disney World, which resulted in no positive cases and no lockdowns. And now, the NBA is going full tilt into a semi-regular 72 game season, knowing full well it was going to come to this. Now they just released their schedule for the new NBA season.
Obviously, it goes without saying, that trying to institute a season where things were normal and they would go out and about home and away is not going to work as planned.
Each NBA team will play the teams within its conference three times for a total of 42 games, while playing the teams from the opposing conference twice each (30 games). Within each team’s division, the league has already assigned which opponents will be played twice at home, and which will be played twice on the road. Each division within a conference will then play all five teams from another intraconference division twice at home, and all five teams from the remaining division twice on the road.ESPN
Despite the fact that I don’t think they should be playing a 72 game season, which will continue to melt my brain into the ninth ring of hell, this was absolutely necessary. The more teams cut down on their exposure, the better. But all of it doesn’t mean a god damn thing if teams and players get reckless, trying to return to some “normalcy” by their extra-curricular activities. We saw this in the MLB, with Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac, two knuckle-headed knuckleheads breaking COVID protocols. The NFL was no stranger to breakers of protocol, including having to fine Jon Gruden multiples times as well as his players for attending an in-person charity event held in a Las Vegas ballroom. Even the NBA wasn’t completely safe, despite no cases.
I simply don’t have enough faith that players, coaches, or personnel won’t do everything in their power to protect themselves and those around them. The cynic in me is running free. I would love to be proven wrong. I’ll let someone yell at me from a safe distance with a mask on, “Juicy” pants, and a bullhorn if the entire 2021 NBA season goes off without a hitch. But time and time again through COVID we’ve heard of people doing dumb shit. I don’t see that changing with a full season here. And that is why this 2021 NBA season is going to be an incredible drunk circus of a time. Even if everyone in the NBA does everything to protect themselves, a deus-ex machina could fly out of the ether to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
COVID rates are continuing to spike out of control, and we’re heading into what’s being called a ‘dark winter‘. Hospitals are filled to the brim. El Paso, Texas has multiple makeshift morgues stacking bodies upon bodies like electronics in a chain store. The health of our own physicians, nurses and hospital workers is reaching a tipping point. A change in the U.S. Presidential leadership isn’t on the books until January 2oth when an actual President that gives a shit about preserving the health of Americans will take over and even then it will take time to get an actual plan to contain this deadly virus.
On top of all this, the season yet to be’s Finals is butting up against the Summer Olympic Games of 2020. Literally one day separates these two between July 22nd and July 23rd when the flames will be lit. I feel like this too is a harbinger hanging over the NBA, its axe ready to swing, a bell in the distance waiting to toll. I’m ready for the NBA season to be patched and wonky and stop and start like an ‘L Train’. The question is not if but when, and how easily is that train fixable?
One can only hope that the NBA’s protocols become even more stringent, like obnoxiously stringent, with people’s health and so much money on the line. But that same money line which is driving all of this is exactly what’s driving everything to go full tilt into madness, tightening the cilice around our leg the more we twist and try to do what’s right. Obviously only time will tell, and I could end up being full of shit, I’ll be happy to ever be so and wish nothing but good health to all participants, but I have my doubts, Montresor, and for the love of god, the brick wall is getting higher.
At some point in time Coleman would like to feel optimism, and might do so at some point on Twitter.