NBA

Shaq: NBA Should Cancel the Season Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 09: Shaquile O'Neal speaks onstage during the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson Of The Year 2019 at The Ziegfeld Ballroom on December 09, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year 2019)
Bennett Raglin/Getty Images

Shaquille O’Neal–the legendary Hall of Fame center and NBA on TNT analyst–said in a recent interview that the NBA should look to “scrap the season,” stating safety should be the top priority due to the Coronavirus pandemic. In contrast to the steps the league is taking to resume games, Shaq says the potential champion would be seen as undeserving of the title and will not receive the appreciation that they deserve.

“We should scrap the season,” Shaq told the New York Post. “Continue to care about the safety of the players and the people, let the government figure out how they’re going to get rid of this thing forever. I hate hearing this statement, oh it’s going to come back, it’s going to come back.”

“If we try to finish the season with no fans, you still got to bring in a camera crew; you still got to bring in the trainers, you still got to bring in other people. What if one of those guys gets it? All it takes is one,” said O’Neal.

“Any team that wins this year, there’s an asterisk,” he said in another interview with Mike Sykes of USA TODAY Sports. “Nobody is going to respect that. So, scrap it. Worry about the safety of the fans and the people. Come back next year.”

NY Post

The 1999 San Antonio Spurs won the championship in a lock-out season and still get the respect they deserve. 

The league took significant steps in bringing players back onto courts. They removed restrictions that prevented the players from using training facilities in areas where the government lifted stay-at-home regulations.
The Nuggets, Trail Blazers, and Cavaliers are expected to open practice facilities, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.

The league is looking to Orlando and Las Vegas as potential places to resume games.

Bringing the back the season would bring excitement for fans around the world. The NBA would find ways to broadcast games should they continue this year. They would also have a system set in place to avoid the spread of the virus.  

Teams would have to adapt to this unexpected situation and learn to compete at their highest levels amidst this crisis. The league could potentially result in a more exciting brand of basketball, as players will be fresh and energized.

Wojnarowski also tweeted that Adam Silver is looking to have players train for three weeks before the continuation of the season. Players would have plenty of time to get back in the flow of the game.

Shaq points out a lot of concerns with the NBA resuming, and the league will look into numerous ways to prevent the spread of the virus while giving teams, players, and fans the best possible basketball experience. 

The league must resume at some point. There are risks in every decision, but they should look at every precaution and all possibilities to bring back basketball sooner rather than later. 

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