On Tuesday (22) at 9 pm, the Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors begin another unusual season in the NBA (professional basketball league in the United States). If the last one (2019-2020) was the longest, it took almost a full year to complete, now starting with the shortest preparation time. After the final match between the Lakers and the Heat final, it has been only two and a half months, only 72 days. This interval usually lasts twice as long. As the entire world still struggles with protocols to counter the new Coronavirus (Kovid-19), the league has to deploy again to find a way to conduct the season, after resorting to one help At the Disney Sports Complex in Florida to close the previous season. This time the challenges are more complex.
In the so-called bubble created in help, Athletes and Staff The 22 teams were isolated in a practically inaccessible environment for others and this eliminated the need to travel to the Games. After a few positive cases of the disease as soon as the players reached Disney, the competition ended without any major problems, with most athletes following the rules and the number of cases remaining at zero for a long time.
This time, the NBA dropped the model, which was due to a nightmare that would represent putting all 30 teams in contention for a full season rather than a full season. Also, anyone who has been in a bubble, away from their family for four months, might not want to go through that experience anytime soon. As in the resumption of 2019-2020, the money spoke loudly. The calculations showed that leagues, teams and players could suffer losses on the order of $ 500 million if, instead of starting a new season around Christmas, the dispute only began in mid-January. Soon the date was approved.
Since then, franchises have been in the race against time to prepare as much as possible. In a few weeks, the teams chose their newcomers The formatHired new players and started president. All of this seems negligible on the face of the great rival for the successful season, which remains the virus.
The league had to make a series of adaptations to try to mitigate this effect which can cause disease in the functioning of the gear. The first to be affected was the calendar. Each team will play ten games less than normal (72 instead of 82). The NBA tried to group matches by location to reduce the number of trips each team took, even with teams often traveling on charter flights. The calendar was divided into two parts and released only earlier. It runs until March 4, when a break will occur, before resuming a week later.
The games will take place in teams’ own arenas, most of which will be without spectators. But there are exceptions, as it varies according to the rules set by local governments. The Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic, San Antonio Spurs and Utah Jazz plan to host a limited number of fans, either from the start or on a specific date. The sixth case draws attention: the 2018–2019 champions, the Toronto Raptors, will be the only ones not able to play in the gym themselves. As they are the only franchise outside the United States, they are subject to the protocol of the Government of Canada, which imposes quarantine upon arrival from abroad. As the American field comings and goings make it impossible to play games in Toronto, the Raptors will perform in Tampa, Florida, where, curiously, public appearances are also forecast. There, there are a maximum of 3,800 people, with a distance of about 9 meters between the seats occupied.
Protecting the health of athletes and commissions and preventing the spread of the virus will once again have to undergo periodic testing. As the players reinvented themselves, there were three normal rounds of testing: the first returned 48 positives, the second eight and the last just one. After innovating with the application of saliva tests, less invasive than the most common PCR that extracts material from the nose, players also interact to serve as a sample group for the application of a vaccine. . There is still no confirmation of the vaccination plan for athletes and staff from the 30 teams, but a possible initiative of this type is not unanimous.
“I think there are people who need the vaccine that we do. We are very fortunate to live in a very safe environment. And the virus does not affect a 35-year-old athlete as much as it affects other people who are more vulnerable. Therefore, I like the vaccine to go to the people who need it the most, ”said Mark Gussol, the axis of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Many stories during the season
If it was possible to forget about the coronavirus for a moment, the weather would have many other attractions to entertain the public. In the opening game, Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant faces his former team, the Golden State Warriors. Durant officially returns to court after a year and a half and a half, recovering from the Warriors breaking into Achilles tendon. On the other hand, the opponent tries to return to the days of great performances, five finals and three titles between 2015 and 2019.
Defending champions Los Angeles Lakers bounced back with new contracts with LeBron James and Anthony Davis and were retained as a big favorite after strengthening the team with more dominant side pieces.
The last two winners of the MVP award are also highlighted as to how they decided to face the future. Greek Giannis Antetokounmpo, who took home the award in 2018-2019 and 2019-2020, moved towards speculation and extended his commitment to the Milwaukee Bucks for another five seasons, a contract that would earn him more than $ 228 million. . James Harden, who took the statue home in 2017–2018, is dissatisfied with the atmosphere and movements of the Houston Rockets, a team he has defended since the 2012–13 season and, behind the scenes, is already at each other’s Have expressed a desire to interact with the team.
Giannis opted for stability, while Hardik clearly prefers a change of scenery, but both seek the detail that is missing in his career: the champion ring.
All these names are capable of bringing viewers more than enough to see on screen and more than enough entertainment. With the initial restart, the league managed to capture one of its main sources of income and status: the Christmas round, which traditionally brings rivalry between both franchisees and players.
But there is no escape from reality: it will not be the same as other years. No matter how prepared physically the athletes are, the end of this season cannot be done by talent but in unexpected detail. Slava star Luka Donsik of the Dallas Mavericks, who is himself one of the league’s big names, who will also take action against the Los Angeles Lakers over Christmas, will put forth a strange point.
“This will be a big part [do que acontecerá na temporada]: Which team will not have people [testes] Positive ”, he confirms.