Chicago Bulls: Sports World rocked by Coronavirus
|Thursday, March 12, 2020, 9:49 AM- -|
As the sudden worldwide health epidemic, coronavirus continues to get worse by the minute, and the sports world is starting to feel the effects of it in many ways. First, it was the XFL announcing that Sunday’s game between the LA Wildcats and Seattle Dragons would go on as planned just without fans in attendance.
Then the MLS stepped in and said they are postponing home games for the Seattle Sounders and San Jose Earthquakes for the rest of March. Sticking with the Seattle theme, the Seattle Mariners have canceled all early-season home games and look to move them to different venues or play them in their spring training site until possibly mid-April.
The drastic measures that we continue to see taken maybe a bit extreme, but they are all doing this as a precaution to help prevent this virus from spreading even that much more quickly. Perhaps no sport has been hurt more than basketball, which suffered the ultimate blow yesterday. It was first reported in the early afternoon hours that Golden State would play the remainder of their home schedule with no fans in attendance. About an hour later, the Nets followed suit as more dominos would fall later.
That turned our attention to the NCAA world, where they made a shocking decision late last night. After announcing that most, if not all, current conference tournaments would go on as planned just without fans, the NCAA came to the hard decision that the entire March Madness tournament will be played without fans in attendance. Only immediate family members and media personal will be allowed in the arena. Now it appears the NCAA is even considering canceling the tournament altogether, which will cost the organizations millions of dollars.
The NBA then stole the headlines late last night as the Utah Jazz were set to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder in OKC. It was moments before tipoff where the PA announcer was forced to announce the postponement of the game for an uncontrollable situation, and that was that. We later found out the reason behind it was that Utah Center Rudy Gobert had previously tested positive for the coronavirus leading the NBA to take an even more drastic decision.
With so many teams, players, coaches, fans, and referees coming in contact with Gobert over the past few weeks, the NBA has decided to suspend the NBA season until further notice as they try and figure out what the next steps should be. This will give everyone who has been in contact with Gobert time to get tested to see if any more positive results arise.
The problem with this becomes, let’s just say that someone from another team tested positive. Then not only do you have to test everyone the Jazz played the past two weeks but then you must test everyone that team played the past two weeks and so on. The list could get bigger by the minute, thus canceling the season, although losing a ton of money, maybe the best option right now.
It is unclear when the season will start back up again if it even does, but it looks like from now until the end of March, we will have no NBA to watch. Once the decision to start arises, the question then becomes do we playout the rest of the regular season or just cut right to the playoffs using the current standings as the seeds. That will affect some teams fighting for the final spot in the conference, but that is what this may come down to in the end.
The G-League is hurt more by this than the NBA itself, given where they are in the season. Right now, most NBA teams have 15-18 regular-season games left before the playoffs start, so canceling two weeks or so only affects about half of those games. The G-League, on the other hand, is in the final two weeks of their season as most teams have seven games or less to play.
That means the rest of their regular season will not only be suspended but most likely not made up as the playoffs would be underway once this decision comes full circle. The G-League also needs to look at the playoff schedule, too, and see if there will even be one given the length that this could take. All I know is that the sports world is a mess right now, and there is not much anyone can do about it.