The coronavirus outbreak led to the temporary suspension of the regular phase of the NBA season. This situation left several issues unresolved in the American league.
Among the many issues unresolved by the unexpected cancellation of the NBA season due to the outbreak of coronavirus within its ranks (the cases of Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, from Utah Jazz), includes that of the salaries of basketball players. At the moment they would have no problem receiving their checks, as reported by the league players’ union this Saturday.
The alarms of the players’ bank accounts is ringing in recent days. This happened after it came to light that in the current collective agreement that governs labor relations there is a clause that “due to a greater cause”. Those greater causes include multiple dramatic scenarios; such as natural disasters, wars or pandemics – the league has the option of not facing wages.
The Union and its Affiliates
The union sent this Saturday to all its members an internal statement that addresses the uncertainty surrounding the indefinite suspension of the NBA. The suspension could last at least 30 days. The situation also brings to light the terms of their agreement. Said terms could release the team owners from paying players a percentage of their wages. This might happen if they lose the rest of the season. Lastly, and most importantly, it informs that the checks will be deposited on Sunday.
The Super Stars do their own thing
Meanwhile, it is the basketball players themselves who took the initiative to start solving certain issues that left adrift certain workers; mostly those in part-time contracts. One of those is the situation of employees who hire franchises for game days.
Several NBA superstars decided to make donations to help workers financially. For example, the Greek Giannis Antetokounmpo, last winner of the Most Valuable Player award. He reported through his Twitter account that he would give $ 100,000 to the stadium staff of the Milwaukee Bucks.
For his part, rookie sensation Zion Williamson joined the move via his Instagram. The 19-year-old power forward charges close to ten million dollars in his first season as a professional. His announcement said that the donation covers the 30-day salaries of workers of the New Orleans Pelicans. His statement recognizes the welcoming and supportive behavior of the New Orleans people towards him since he joined the Pels last June; also he recognized the people who work at the Smoothie King Center. Claiming that they make the games possible.
NBA decided to suspend the season due to coronavirus outbreak
“Shortly before the start of the game between the Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder, the test result was reported. The game took place at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. At that time, they canceled the game. Removing the affected player from the arena,” said the NBA.
The NBA is canceling further games following the conclusion of the scheduled game until the situation improves. The NBA will use this pause to figure out the following steps to move forward regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
Rudy Gobert positive for coronavirus.
The NBA announced this suspension early Thursday until further notice of the 2019-20 season. The North American League has made this drastic decision after the news that Rudy Gobert has coronavirus. The diagnosis of the French center of the Jazz caused the suspension of Oklahoma-Utah minutes before it began.
The NBA will suspend the game schedule until further notice. They will use this parenthesis time to determine the next steps to take moving forward with respect to the coronavirus pandemic.
The coronavirus has already been diagnosed to more than 1,000 people in the United States; Compared to the NCAA, the NBA worked very slowly in treating the problem. For example, the university league announced hours before, there will be a limit to public attendance at March Madness games. Only the families of the players and members essential to the smooth running of the games would participate. At this point, the NBA had not yet taken any definitive measure. The contacts of the commissioner Adam Silver with the 30 franchises already pointed to the need to play behind closed doors or to postpone the competition.
The news about the effects of the disease on North American basketball had already been noticed hours before the Thunder-Jazz. Golden State Warriors reported that the two games due to play at the Chase Center in the next 15 days would be behind closed doors. Those games featured the Brooklyn Nets versus Atlanta Hawks The Bay franchise. They were following the instructions of the San Francisco health authorities. There is a prohibition for the holding of events with more than 1,000 people.
NBA’s final decision issued
The league had thoughts of implementing a scenario of playing without an audience. This scenario would remain until the contention of infection from the COVID-19 virus. The measure was discussed between the Players Union and with the Board of Governors (the 30 franchise owners); in the different meetings held on Tuesday and Wednesday. All parties were in favor of this solution rather than stopping the competition. The different options have been brutally reduced to one: the NBA is suspended indefinitely.
Structural changes ahead
The current situation calls for a drastically reconfigured calendar which in turn causes discussions among the involved parties. The 30 teams that form the league are searching for dates in which the N.B.A. might see the playoff games in July and August.
Some are pushing for a new calendar from September to August plus a Christmas day opening. This might put a basketball in more direct competition with baseball.
There are supporters and detractors of course but it all depends on how the situation unfolds; after all the best possible scenario is a 30 days suspension at least.
What is clear is that this will be a summer of experimentation for the NBA. The league has gone through some tough moments this year so far with the deaths of David Stern and Kobe Bryant.