Saturday, 6 June 2020

NBA Just Took A Major Step Toward Restarting 2020 Season

The NBA Board of Governors has approved a plan to restart the 2019-20 season as early as late July after the coronavirus pandemic temporarily canceled professional sports.
The teams approved the tentative plan on Thursday by a vote of 29 to 1 with the Portland Trail Blazers being the lone vote against, according to The New York Times. The NBA is meeting with the players’ association on Friday to begin filling out many details of the plan, such as Covid-19 protocols. The plan is also contingent on reaching an agreement with The Walt Disney Company to use its resort near Orlando to host the games.
“The Board’s approval of the restart format is a necessary step toward resuming the NBA season,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “While the COVID-19 pandemic presents formidable challenges, we are hopeful of finishing the season in a safe and responsible manner based on strict protocols now being finalized with public health officials and medical experts. We also recognize that as we prepare to resume play, our society is reeling from recent tragedies of racial violence and injustice, and we will continue to work closely with our teams and players to use our collective resources and influence to address these issues in very real and concrete ways.”
According to the NBA, the plan would cut the bottom eight teams with the worst records in the league out of the remaining part of 2019-20 season, leaving 22 teams to vie for playoff positions. The rest of the regular season would consist of each team playing eight games, the results of which would determine a team’s seed in the playoffs.
The proposed plan would allow 16 teams, eight from each conference, to move on to the playoffs. The No. 9 seed in each conference would get a chance at bumping off the No. 8 seed team in a play-in round as long as the No. 9 team is no more than four games down in the standings. The final 16 teams would then move on to the playoffs in the traditional best-of-seven format for each round.
No games would be played with a live audience. The NBA hopes to kick off the season on July 31 as long as discussions and negotiations go smoothly between the league, the players’ union, and other parties involved.
Professional sports organizations are struggling to salvage seasons cut short by the coronavirus pandemic. NASCAR was one of the earliest sports to come back, albeit under significant restrictions and without a live audience.
The professional motorsports organization made its comeback last month at South Carolina’s Darlington Raceway. NASCAR participants came back under a host of new rules limiting crew sizes and enforcing new coronavirus protocols.
Major League Baseball has been attempting to stage a similar comeback, though disagreements between the teams’ owners and the players’ union have stalled progress on reaching an agreement. The main issue in the discussions that have spilled out into the press is of player compensation.
The players’ union has not backed off an early agreement, later dropped by the MLB for not being financially feasible, to pay players prorated salaries based on the number of games played. The MLB has pushed for progressive system of temporary salary cuts.

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