Like the rest of the world, the NBA currently has a very serious COVID-19 problem.
Because of the new Omicron variant, there are more infections within the league now than ever before.
More than 70 players are in the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols right now, and the amount of cases has caused seven postponed games this month.
Five Cleveland Cavaliers players tested positive, as well as 10 from the Brooklyn Nets, and six for the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks and Sacramento Kings among many, many more.
The pandemic is raging all over the world and especially in the NBA.
This has led some to propose that the league shut down – not for the rest of the season but maybe for a week or two.
What would that achieve and is it the right way to deal with the tricky COVID conundrum?
3. Allows Players To Return
As mentioned, there is a slew of players sidelined because of the virus right now.
Some of the biggest players in the league – such as Kevin Durant – are currently off the court because of positive tests.
65 players have been forced to enter the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols this week: pic.twitter.com/V9FQPWKBus
— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) December 19, 2021
Missing so many people raises the question: are teams really on an even playing field right now?
If the NBA were to take a week’s break, it would give the sick players time to get better and ready to return.
When the intermission was over, Durant and the other talented ballers would be able to suit up again and there would be no question that all teams were competing fairly at full capacity.
As a matter of fairness, perhaps the league should shut things down for a bit and let everyone get back into playing condition.
2. Keeps Fans And Players Safe
A week away from the game would keep a lot of people safe, both players and fans.
Players and staff are in close contact with one another during a game and that leads to the virus easily being spread around, even if everyone is fully vaccinated.
But the same is true for the fans watching.
Arenas can seat thousands of people together, all in close proximity to one another.
All of those fans cheering for their teams, just feet away from one another, is a recipe for infection.
If the games were shut down for a short period of time, this would prevent perhaps hundreds or even thousands of cases of COVID.
Plus it would allow cleaning crews to enter the premises and clean them thoroughly to really get the job done and prevent further outbreaks.
1. Lets The NBA Figure Out New Protocols
The NBA is at a crossroads right now: do they keep the COVID protocols the same or do they change them?
Originally, the protocols made a lot of sense: they ensured that anyone unwell wouldn’t spread the virus to others on their teams.
But now that everyone is vaccinated, the virus should not be as dire.
Plus, it now seems impossible that the virus will ever be eliminated as some had hoped, it’s something we will all have to live with for the foreseeable future.
NBA has thought about letting asymptomatic COVID-19 positive players continue playing and avoid protocol, but league isn't there yet. Meanwhile, Omicron has already been found in players and staff on multiple NBA teams. On the NBA's growing COVID issue: https://t.co/wwc0Dn6Xcl
— Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) December 16, 2021
Therefore, is it really fair to sideline so many players for something that isn’t as dangerous as it once was thanks to vaccines and is downright unavoidable at times?
The NBA needs to take a good, hard look at their COVID rules and decide if it’s time to change them since the virus isn’t going away.
A brief shutdown would allow them to sort through this mess and then take on the rest of the reason in a healthy and fair manner.