Coronavirus: Expect a mid-July Return for the 2019-20 NBA Season

The Coronavirus has halted the NBA season but should it end it? Would fans consider the eventual champion legitimate?

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BetOnline.ag has released future odds for the return of the 2019-20 NBA campaign due to the Coronavirus.  The online betting platform has the odds significantly against a basketball game being played before June 1st (+300), and even July 1st for that matter (+105.)

August 1st is the first over/under date where the odds favor another NBA game being played before the identified date (-200.)

One would like to think that August 1st would be the merciful cut-off date before the NBA’s New York offices considers the death knell on the since long-forgotten and coronavirus ruining 2019-20 NBA campaign.  And at 2:1, that’s not all that significant.

Operating under the assumption that the NBA reboots its season in the middle of the summer — the question bears asking: How legitimate will this season be? Would there be a permanent asterisk next to a would-be-champion and award winners?

Many still scoff at the San Antonio Spurs lockout-shortened 1999 NBA title.  After a long and grueling lockout, play finally got underway in February of that year, but not until after numerous players returned so laughably and hilariously out-of-shape (Shawn Kemp has since never recovered), and the league slogged its way through arguably its most forgettable season in the modern era.

Many still do not consider that season a real season, and thus that Spurs team not a real champion.

A more noted comparison would be the 1981 MLB season when a player’s strike in the middle of that year halted the games and ‘split’ the 1981 baseball season.  Play resumed a few months later but not after the season was split into two halves.  First place teams in each division were awarded a playoff spot no matter what (this was at a time when there was no Wild Card and only two divisions in each league) and the playoffs were temporarily expanded to include a divisional round.

However, even that baseball strike only ceased play for a little under two months.  If the NBA resumes play in the middle of the summer, it will be half-a-calendar year — eons in the worlds of athletics, as long as a full off-season.

Let alone the questions of which players would be able to play if they have tested positive for the Coronavirus.  How big will the playoffs be? What about the fans? Would teams lose their home-court advantage if they can’t play in front of large crowds because of Coronavirus fears?

There sure will not be a parade for the would-be champion.

Either way, for those who are starved for NBA basketball (and sports for that matter) in a world where the Coronavirus has sucked the life out of — hang on till the summer.  Some semblance of normalcy may return then.

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