By: ANU GREHARY
The NBA is one of the few professional sports that handles the coronavirus well. The way the bubble implemented basketball was handled pretty good. Now in the 2020 NBA season, there are brand new rules. The NBA new covid rules include daily/weekend testing, since training camp the players are not allowed to interact with each other after games, and heavy use of contact tracing has been implemented. Fans are not allowed to join arenas, and arenas are vastly empty. The NBA proceeds to lose a ton of money while having to be very cautious.
While these rules worked for the bubble, they aren’t translating well in this recent year. The main problem is contact tracing. Contract tracing is “the process of identification of persons who may have come into contact with an infected person and subsequent collection of further information about these contacts.” The NBA is going to high extremes with contact tracing. A problem arises in which teams are unable to play games because they are short on members. An example is the Philadelphia Seventy Sixers. They earned a ton of losses because they were missing half the team.
It is not just teams either, but players have issues with these rules as well. Point guard for OKC Thunder, Geroge Hill, said, “We wanna play the game … but I don’t understand some of the rules,” as he continues to say, “We can sweat 48 minutes with a guy next to us for 48 minutes, but we can’t talk to them afterward. It makes no sense.” A ton of ESPN Analysts like Richard Jefferson have said players should be able to interact with each other as they have been so close together the entire game. Postgame interaction wouldn’t give you coronavirus all of a sudden. This weird precautious method occurred again. Kyrie and Bam had an intense match, and they wanted to exchange jerseys. Then all of sudden, security came in and stopped them from doing so. Because of this, they had to trade their jersey in secret.
People are okay with this change as long players are safe, but the problem is they are not always safe at times. The NBA still wanted to have all-star games even though there’s a possibility that it could potentially spread covid widely. They will be lucky if no one gets infected. The most respected player in the NBA, Lebron said “And then they throw an All-Star Game on us like this and just breaks that up. So, um, pretty much kind of a slap in the face.” This also backs fans’ perception. SBN took a poll showing that 61% of the fans are not interested.
Overall the NBA needs to find a happy medium where they appease the players and the fans. At the same time still making a good of money.