The National Basketball Association



The National Basketball Association (NBA) is one of the most popular sports associations worldwide. Along with the other sports and leagues within this collection, the NBA was hit hard from the impact of COVID-19. The impact COVID-19 had on the NBA forced the league to make drastic changes, that included formats and solutions no one would have ever imagined happening before. 


                 NBA basketball game pre-COVID-19 with fans  


           NBA basketball game post-COVID-19 with no fans


 The photo above on the left shows what a regualar NBA game looked like pre-COVID-19. Before the pandemic struck, basketball courts would be filed with thousands of people cheering on their favourite team with their friends and family. During NBA playoffs, streets would be filled with people and bars and restaurants would be packed to the point where you would not be able to move, all just to enjoy the thrill of the game. Comparing that world to today's world is so drastic. It is sometimes hard to believe that exactly a year ago, people would be driving to the games to see the best of the best teams play while sitting in a stadium with thousands of other people you do not know. Unfortunately, fans are no longer allowed in these stadiums, which has made the NBA a whole different league. Fans are a big part of every sport, it gives the players a drive and thrill. Without the fans, professional basketball do not seem as into the game. The picture above to the right shows how there are now virtual fans to replace humans being there physically. You can also see in both pictures that in the photo to the left, no one is wearing a mask in the crowd, but in the picture to the right, except the players playing, everyone is wearing a mask; coaches, teammates, etc. 

                                                                                      NBA 2020 Pay Cuts 

Due to the impact the pandemic had on all sport leagues, including the NBA, in May of 2020, the NBA Player Association (NBAPA) took a 25% pay cut from every player in the league. For example, instead of players having a 8 million contract, they would have 6 million. This was a decision that had to be done or else the association would have not been able to pay all the players because of the lack of money they had. The NBA collects most of the money from people coming to the games and buying the tickets. The average ticket for a NBA game is $89.00. So in saying that, with the average 2-3 home games per week, and about 20,000 people filled to capacity in one of the stadiums is $1,780,000.00. That is just roughly the amount from one game, not including maximum 5 games per week, so from a certain perspective, that is a lot of money that NBA teams do not have coming in anymore because there are currently no fans allowed to watch the games in person due to COVID-19. 




       NBA players wearing face masks with team logo 



                                 World Wide Sports Complex hosts NBA playoffs


                                           The Solution to Resume the 2020 Season          

On March 11, 2020, the coronavirus began to really impact the sports world, including the NBA. On this particular date, the NBA decided to suspend all operations due to the massive outbreak. This decision was made for the safety and health of the players, fans, and the general public, (NBA staff, 2020). After the first lockdown of COVID-19 began to ease up around end of May, the NBA wanted to find a way to resume the season from where it was left off. The only way to do this was to have a bubble specific to just the NBA teams that would take place in Orlando, Florida. The way this would work is that the 16 teams who made it to the playoffs would go to Orlando to compete. Some players did not feel comfortable with COVID-19 still being present, as this meant they had to leave their loved ones behind. These players had the option to not participate but they did see a reduction in their pay. Only those involved with the team were allowed to go included coaches, players and staff. The bubble contained about 1600 people. The 16 teams that were within the bubble all stayed at the same hotel from July-August 2020 and each team had their own floor and decorated their floor to represent their team and home cities, to make it feel a little more like home through these difficult times. Despite this drastic change in the National Basketball Association, each team performed exceptionally well under the circumstances, leading the Los Angeles Lakers to take home the NBA Championship of 2020. 



       The LA Lakers taking home the win 

The LA Lakers celebrate winning the title with no fans                                


                                                                                                     Upcoming 2020-21 Season

With the pandemic still upon the world, for the upcoming season, teams are currently training and pre-season begins on December 11, 2020. The start of the season begins on December 22, 2020. For this upcoming 2020-21 season, teams will practice and play in their own stadiums and will be able to travel to other cities for games, while following COVID-19 health and safety procedures and rules (Quinn, 2020). 

By: Kaitlyn A. Howe 


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