As the NBA tries to figure out a plan to resume its season, the league has been looking to Southeast Asia for a model on how to play sports during the pandemic. Basketball has been difficult to restart, but the Korean Baseball Organization and the Chinese Professional Baseball League (in Taiwan) are each operational, though without fans.
Basketball presents different challenges than baseball, considering the amount of contact players have with one another. Nevertheless, the NBA seems committed to playing out the 2019-20 season in some form or another. The league is already allowing teams in markets that have relaxed stay-at-home orders to reopen their practice facilities on May 1. Although group workouts remain prohibited, and several GMs have concerns about the logistics of such a plan, there remains momentum to bring the NBA back.
That begs the question: what happens to the fans?
In Europe, large spectator events are being changed to a drive-in format. Sido, a German rapper, held a drive-in concert in Dusseldorf, Germany, this weekend where the audience could watch him on a large screen and still listen to him live. FC Midtjylland, a soccer club in Denmark, is building large video boards outside its stadium so that fans can pull up in the parking lot, watch, and cheer together.
Eventually, American leagues will let fans back into stadiums and arenas with an entirely new protocol for how to experience live games with regards to distance between seats, food distribution, and a number of other factors. For now, with fans presumably strictly prohibited, domestic leagues should take note of how Europe is handling its situation for guidance.
On to the links...
- Marc Eversley, senior VP of player personnel for the Philadelphia 76ers, has been hired as the new GM of the Chicago Bulls. Clippers assistant GM Mark Hughes was one of the candidates interviewed.
- The Athletic graded each Clipper through the shutdown.
- The Clippers beat the Warriors three times last season between the regular season and the playoffs. The two postseason wins were instant classics, but people can’t stop talking about the regular-season matchup when Draymond Green and Kevin Durant got into the spat heard ‘round the world.
- Patrick Beverley called James Harden (a former teammate) his favorite player in the league to guard on Instagram Live with ESPN’s Cassidy Hubbarth. Beverley also shared some thoughts about the Lakers.
- Kawhi Leonard’s trainer Clint Parks went through how the reigning Finals MVP mastered the midrange jumper.
- Everyone’s watching ESPN’s 30 for 30 series The Last Dance. And that means Los Angeles eateries are coming up with themed menus to enhance people’s viewing experience at home.
- Here’s what the Clippers thought of episodes 3 and 4 of “The Last Dance”.
Facts:— Brian Sieman (@BSieman) April 27, 2020
-The Last Dance is the greatest show of all-time
-Hearing Michael Jordan swear is one of my favorite things in life
-Carmen Electra has aged very well
-Phil Jackson wearing carhartt jeans at a shoot around is amazing