Opinion: NBA, NHL playoffs won’t happen this year


National Basketball Association

cription Wordmark of the National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals (2004–2017)

Dylan Shields, Opinions Editor

Ever since this COVID-19 pandemic struck the USA back in February, it’s had a major impact on the sports world.

Every single sports league in the United States has been postponed for the short time being.  The NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB are currently right now in trouble in terms of deciding on if they can play and if so what limits do the leagues take.

Right now, the NFL and MLB are looking much better in terms of starting up.  The NFL season isn’t until September, so hopefully, by then, this pandemic will at least calm down.  And the NFL confirmed it will have its season.

The MLB is planning to return July 1, and even if they can’t allow fans, they’ll still be able to play.

The NBA and NHL are different due to the seasons for both leagues currently on pause.  Because they are still technically in season, it’s a more difficult decision for both leagues to make in terms of when to return.  Many people want them to return to the regular season shortly and continue on with the playoffs.  Some just want to go straight to the playoffs.

Now, here’s my opinion on this.  I think if both leagues were to return, they would go straight to the playoffs in mid-June.

But here’s where I say I don’t think this is happening.  There’s a couple of reasons why I think both seasons will get canceled.

One of them is that all concerts, specifically rock, are canceled until the fall of 2021.  Now I know that’s a different scenario, but it’s similar to the point that there’s a big crowd.  And to me, sports isn’t the same without fans, so the leagues probably won’t want to come back until fans are allowed back, and that won’t be happening for a long time.

Another reason is that it’s a bit too late to restart.  Just think about it.  Teams would have to meet up again, have practices, and prepare for the other teams that they have to play.  With rust affecting athletes, this could take months to prepare.  The postseason would most likely start for both at the end of June, which means the playoffs will end in August.  That will affect both leagues’ drafts, and it will affect the scheduling because the offseason will be really short for both leagues.

The third and final reason is just that it’s the right thing to do.  I know fans will not like to hear it, but the safety of players and coaches is more important than playing sports right now.  The moment one player on a team catches this virus, no one will want to play that team, and everything will be screwed up.  Also, leagues are going to lose big money if they play with empty arenas, and the players won’t be getting paid as much when they do play.

All in all, canceling both seasons may not be what people want, but it’s the right decision.  Health is more important than money and championships.