The status of the 2019-20 NBA season is still up in the air due to the coronavirus pandemic, which unfortunately isn't going away. However, as we move towards May, it seems like some sort of decision may be on the horizon.
Earlier this week, a report from Shams Charania of The Athletic indicated that the league is seriouslyand quarantining all the teams there in order to finish the season. At the same time, there are many executives and agents who believe the season should be canceled, per from CNBC's Jabari Young.
With the conversation about the future of the season picking up steam, the league's most powerful player weighed in on Thursday afternoon. Taking to Twitter, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James said, "As soon as it's safe we would like to finish our season. I'm ready and our team is ready. Nobody should be canceling anything."
Saw some reports about execs and agents wanting to cancel season??? That’s absolutely not true. Nobody I know saying anything like that. As soon as it’s safe we would like to finish our season. I’m ready and our team is ready. Nobody should be canceling anything. 👑— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 30, 2020
It's obviously still unclear what the league is going to do moving forward. This is a deadly serious health crisis, and big picture decision making is not easy when dealing with such a fluid situation.
Considering the logistics and very real risk of getting everyone into one location, holding some sort of training camp or preseason, then finishing up either the entire schedule or jumping straight into the playoffs, it's understandable why some executives and agents may want the season canceled. And that doesn't even take into account how finishing this season much later than usual could impact future seasons.
Regardless of who LeBron has talked to, there are likely high-ranking people around the league who feel it's not worth the trouble -- especially those working with or for organizations who have no hope of playoff contention. There's not much incentive there for those teams to jump through all the logistical hoops just to play about a dozen games.
But as LeBron's comment shows, the competitive nature of the players means they're desperate to return to action once it's safe to do so. No one wants to see all their hard work go down the drain -- especially those who are so close to contending for a title.
Those competing desires, combined with the obvious financial incentives to finish the season and the very real health concerns caused by the virus make this an extremely difficult situation for everyone involved. Any decision is not going to be made lightly, but it's clear which path LeBron and Co. are going to be fighting for.