Basketball Fans Rejoice! The NBA is Back!


Max Druckman, Staff Writer

National Basketball Association fans rejoice! After two long months of having no live sports, the NBA has reached an agreement to have its season resume on July 31, 2020. The entirety of the rest of the season will be played in Orlando, Florida at Walt Disney World. But what exactly will basketball’s trip to Disney entail?

The plan for the NBA’s resumption passed with resounding support. 29 of the 30 franchises voted in favor of it, with only the Portland Trail Blazers voting against it. The scheme calls for the top 13 teams in the Western Conference and the top 9 teams in the Eastern Conference to travel to Disney. As 8 teams per conference make the playoffs, the extra teams invited are those that were within 6 games of the eighth-placed team at the time the season was suspended. The 1 extra team from the East is the Washington Wizards. The 5 extra coming from the West include the New Orleans Pelicans, San Antonio Spurs, Sacramento Kings, Phoenix Suns, and Portland Trail Blazers. The first set of games played will be 8 regular-season games to help determine the top 8 teams per conference (which make the playoffs) and their seeding. If the team that finishes in ninth place is within 4 games of the team in eighth, then a play-in tournament will take place. In the tournament, the eighth-placed team would have to beat the team below them once in two games to retain their seed. If the ninth-placed team wins both games, they take the last playoff spot. The playoffs will take place as normal.

The NBA went down to the very little details when planning the schedule, as is necessary during these times. The total length of the regular season is 16 days and 5 or 6 games will be played at the Disney facility per day, with each team playing one set of games on back to back days. The distance between playoff games will fluctuate based on how long the series goes. However, the distance between NBA Finals games will be set at every other day. Testing will take place each day and all players will stay the Disney resort. Three courts will be used at once in the facility and four hours will be allotted in between each game to allow cleaning. 

Some players do not like the plan for the season to return. Most prominently, Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving does not support the plan in protest over the murder of George Floyd and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Additionally, Washington Wizards All-Star John Wall has said that he does not feel safe going through with the plan in the midst of the pandemic. On the contrary, some players are ready to go. Los Angeles Lakers legend LeBron James has said that as long as there are precautions taken, he feels safe and ready to play. He also stated that he thinks playing will help him use his platform to support Black Lives Matter. Hopefully, the players are ready to go and basketball resumes soon. We cannot wait for the NBA!