The NBA games have been suspended and the season restart is still up in the air with the coronavirus spread not yet in control. However, league officials are clear on one thing - that the current campaign while delayed will end as expected and a team will win the championship.
This appears to be the consensus of NBA club owners and all the players as declaring the season null and void has been ruled out unless the health crisis bringing the world to a standstill further deteriorates. The season will end as seen in the previous years and a winner will take home the crown and a new batch of players will be owning NBA rings.
Citing ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, NBC Sports said the league will see the conclusion of the season "no matter what."
"If that's in July, if that's in August, if that's in September - so be it ... I don't think anyone wants to start a new season without crowning a champion from this season," Shelburne was reported as saying.
The plan is in line with the league's intention of maintaining normalcy even in the middle of a pressing situation. As the report noted, the NBA has been consistent in ending a season and down the path, one winner will get the honor of lifting a trophy. The league is looking to keep it that way.
However, the challenge that lies ahead is certainly daunting as players have been infected and authorities are unlikely to give the clearance for sporting events to resume soon. So while the goal is there to wrap things up, reality dictates that the NBA takes things one day at a time, said Shelburne.
For now, the best scenario being considered is the resumption of the games by the middle of June, according to Bleacher Report, pointing to the claims made by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. The plan calls for teams to meet behind closed doors, meaning the arenas will not be accepting spectators.
If the proposal is adopted, Wojnarowski said the postseason games will definitely start late and series showdowns could extend well into August. The pushback, to be sure, will delay other NBA events, like the draft and free agency will take place in September.
And using the same calendar, Season 2020-21 will see the first games played at the start of the year's holiday season, possibly in December.
This appears to be the better alternative to the possibilities offered recently by NBA commissioner Adam Silver, one of which is the simple holding of a charity event as a way to put the season to an end, where the only winner is the coronavirus pandemic.