Updated: Aug 1, 2020
By Alex Al-Kazzaz
On March 11th, the 2019-2020 NBA season came into an abrupt halt. The season was forced into a mandatory suspension courtesy of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Earlier this month, it was announced that the 2019-2020 NBA season would, indeed, return. The league's Board of Governors approved of a plan that would allow the season to continue and to finish.
The 2019-2020 NBA season is set to restart July 30th. However, the rest of the season is not taking place in the teams' respective cities. Instead, it'll take place at Walt Disney World. No fans in attendance. On a positive note, the games will be televised. TNT, ESPN, ABC, and NBA TV are set to broadcast the games.
The Format Of The Season's Restart:
22 teams are participating. According to NBA.com, the 22 teams are divided into the following; eight teams from the Eastern and Western Conference with the highest winning percentage. The remaining six teams that are part of the format are teams that are within six games of the eighth seed.
The teams who are missing out are ones who have already been eliminated from playoff contention. That includes the likes of the Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, and New York Knicks. At the moment, six teams from both the Eastern and Western Conference have secured their spot in the playoffs.
Each participant will play eight games. As part of the format, those eight games are referred to as "seeding games" and are the final regular-season games for each participant. It's all to ensure that 16 teams advance to the playoffs. As far as the playoffs go, it'll be under the regular format. One team will, indeed, be crowned NBA Champions.
Will This Process Affect The Future of the NBA?
This process is certainly going to be remembered in the league's history. It does affect the future of the league in a sense. Since the 2019-2020 season is ending late, the 2020-2021 season will begin December 1st. Training camp will be in November. The last time an NBA season started in December was during the 2011-2012 season, due to the lockout. It is the NBA's intension to have an 82-game season next season and have the finals take place in June.
At this point, it's the COVID-19 Pandemic that has the biggest effect on the future of the league. In the NBA's case, they can only pray that the whole COVID-19 situation comes to a permanent close soon. And that goes for NFL, NHL, MLS, MLB, etc.
The COVID-19 has written a very bad chapter in the history of sports. Not just in sports, but in history period!