In an unprecedented move, the NBA has suspended it’s season indefinitely. Adrian Wojnarowski dropped the news on Twitter and the NBA world has been turned on its side. All NBA games after March 11th will be postponed until further notice.
This is in response to Utah Jazz Center Rudy Gobert testing positive for the COVID-19 otherwise known as the Coronavirus in Oklahoma City. You can read more about the suspension below:
We do not know yet what this suspension holds for the season, ticket refunds, playoff schedule, other such details but they will surely come. For now, the League is doing the right thing putting the health of the players, staff, and fans first.
Many have grown up to love this game but there is a line that cannot be crossed. If the season continued as planned there would have been potential for many to become sick, some possibly die. While this news is shocking, it is the right decision. Even if the virus is not AS serious as some think, why risk it.
For those worried about Rudy Gobert, the Utah Jazz have issued the following statement:
Hopefully more comes to light over the following days as the nation, even the world searches to cure this disease. The NBA should also have more to say rather quickly in terms of an update, hopefully as soon as this weekend.
Philly Sports Network’s thoughts are with those affected by COVID-19 during this time of uncertainty.
Hopefully, this epidemic is resolved quickly but if it’s not, just how will it affect the Philadelphia 76ers? It will give the Sixers’ players and staff a better chance of staying coronavirus free, but how will it impact the team if the season does resume?
Currently, the Sixers have two players who recently returned from injury in Joel Embiid and Josh Richardson. No matter how long the suspension is, it will give a little more time for both players to finish healing up.
Josh Richardson was dealing with concussion symptoms in his three-game absence and that may not be fully healed. He mentioned he was still unsure if the headaches were over but was hopeful. Since Richardson made it through the game without an update on his condition it seems the headaches have not returned, at least not yet. That could easily be due to the much bigger news of the league suspending the season.
Joel Embiid was suffering from a sprained shoulder before making his return to the court. While the injury seems to have already healed, some extra time off never hurts. Embiid will have a chance to continue recovering while the season is suspended. While he hopefully stays in shape as well, his health is the primary concern.
Ben Simmons was scheduled to miss more time anyway so this gives him a greater chance of returning should the season resume. You can read more about yesterday’s injury update below:
The Sixers need a healthy Simmons to compete in the playoffs. Without him, the Sixers are looking at a likely early exit. While the league is even unsure if the season will resume, Simmons extended recovery opportunity is a blessing for the team.
Chance to Clear their Heads
The Sixers have endured well-documented struggles this season both on and off the court. This break in the season could offer a moment of clarity for the team. An opportunity to get their heads right by taking a step back, who knows, it could even help solve the road woes.
The road struggles for the Sixers seem to be psychosomatic so a chance to reset mentally could be the key. Even if it’s not that simple, it could give Brett Brown time to solve the road woe issues. The time off could be very good for the team’s mental health as long as they stay physically healthy.
What if the Season Just Ends?
There is an actual possibility that the NBA season could end without any more games being played. It wouldn’t be simple but it’s a possibility depending on the coming developments in reference to the coronavirus. While there would be many complications like “who wins the championship”, some questions are not as difficult.
If the League decides to just concede the season then the Sixers would actually have a draft pick in the first round. They do not have their own due to the Tobias Harris deal, but the would own the Thunder’s first-round pick from the Markelle Fultz trade.
Currently, that pick would convey at number 22. The pick is protected through the top 20 and no one expected it to convey after the Thunder traded Paul George and Russell Westbrook, yet here we are. If the season does end this pick will be a bright spot.
The Sixers could end up with a quality player such as:
Precious Achiuwa – PF/Memphis
Jalen Smith – PF/Maryland
Tre Jones – PG/Duke
Saddiq Bey – SF/Villanova
All players who could provide some immediate impact with long-term potential. The Sixers will need all the assets they can accrue going forward as the Process hasn’t gone exactly as planned.
Where do we go from here?
For now, there is nothing to do but hope for the season to resume. Hopefully, everyone afflicted recovers soon and life, even beyond basketball, can resume. Until then, we wait with bated breath for an update from the League. Hopefully, it comes sooner than later but the health of the public must be put first.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports