In the NBA sphere, there are two big stories at the moment.
One is the return of basketball, with the NBA Board of Governors expected Thursday to pass a proposal to bring 22 teams back to play out the remainder of the 2019-20 season in Orlando. After 12 weeks of inactivity on the sports front due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s obviously huge news to see NBA basketball will be back next month!
But the other big story concerns the continuing response to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, with protests all over the country continuing night after night (and in some cases, day after day to bypass nighttime curfews) to fight for equality and justice on a broader scale.
Clippers guard Patrick Beverley, who’s been pretty outspoken in his interest to get back to playing ball during the shutdown, said on social media in response to the reports about the return to play that it’s hard to get that interest for the sport we all love right now.
Everything going on right NOW........ is NOT IMPORTANT✊ ✊ https://t.co/o2KxObIwyv— Patrick Beverley (@patbev21) June 3, 2020
We’re all entitled to our opinions, and some of us will be more happy about the return of the NBA, while others will agree with Beverley’s sentiment. Both things can be true, and we have to contend with that right now.
More news for your Thursday:
- Season could stretch to Oct. 12: Adrian Wojnarowski reported a Game 7 of the NBA Finals is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 12. Who knows what the world will be like at that point, but you may want to block the couple weeks leading up to it off on your calendar, just in case, right?
- Ideas for “home court advantage”: Dave McMenamin reports the various options being mooted to give top seeds advantages in the postseason without home cooking and rabid partisan crowds. Some of the suggestions sound pretty wacky, others feasible.
- The logistical pitfalls of the bubble tourney: Over at The Athletic, two writers with experience at NBA teams detail the many, many reservations they have with the league’s restart plan.
- Clippers on Forbes’ money list: Kawhi Leonard ranks No. 43 and Paul George in No. 38 among the highest-paid athletes in the world in 2020, per Forbes. There’s a diversity in sports included, but a fair few NBA players make the rankings.
- Kings announcer loses jobs: Longtime Sacramento Kings play-by-play announcer and local radio host Grant Napear has lost his jobs, over a tweet directed at DeMarcus Cousins over the Black Lives Matter movement.
- Has Silver, NBA really been leaders? Food for thought here from Henry Abbott at True Hoop, who raises some interesting points about perception and leading in a difficult moment for the commissioner and league.
- Rest in Peace, Wes Unseld: The longtime Washington player/coach and National Basketball Hall of Famer died earlier this week. This remembrance in The Athletic was terrific. I remember Unseld coached the Bullets (the opposing team) when I went to my first NBA game. Condolences to his family and friends.