The NBA: The Games Must Go On

The league will continue as best it can.

The National Basketball Association is going ahead with something that will resemble a legitimate season in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The league cannot put games on in its only Canadian market, Toronto, as Canadian health officials did not want the Raptors franchise personnel flying in and out of the city as COVID-19 positivity rates climb in Toronto and Peel. The Raptors ownership decided to go to Tampa, Florida for its 2020-2021 home base. Florida is reporting a very high number of positive COVID-19 cases with South Florida an increasing problem. South Florida houses an NBA franchise, the Miami Heat. Heat owner Micky Arison’s cruise ship business has been grounded because of COVID-19 but the games must go on. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has imposed few restrictions because of COVID-19 in his state. NBA training camps are open and the first pre-season games start on December 11th. The season opens on December 22nd. The games will take place in many empty arenas but the games will be on TV or streamed and marketing partners are pushing products using NBA jerseys and other signage areas and will have their logos on TV. There is money to be had.

The NBA opened training camp earlier this week and that required everyone connected to the day-to-day operations of each of the 30 teams to take a COVID-19 test. Between November 24th and November 30th, 546 players took a COVID-19 test, there were 48 positive tests or a positivity rate of nearly nine percent. But the games must go on. The NBA’s Los Angeles teams could be caught in a new series of restrictions because the city may be nearing the tipping that could overwhelm the local hospital system. There will be disruptions in the season but the games must go on. There is too much money to be made.

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)