The intention not to pause the competition is good, but at what cost? At the end of the day there will be some games that will look more like a development league than the NBA itself
This Sunday the league postponed five games, the most for a day since the season began and since that month of March last year when it stopped the campaign and then resumed it in the Florida bubble.
Positive cases are reported per minute and there are more than 60 players who enter the COVID protocol until this Sunday only in the month of December. The Nets They have all their starters out and there are eight players in total, the Cavs seven, the Lakers six and coach Vogel, so far. But the trend is accentuated and it is clear that this week we will see a rebound.
Now, let’s give you a little perspective, the NHL has suspended games that involve crossing the border into Canada until after the Christmas break (Monday through Thursday) and the NBA faces a similar scenario with the games in Toronto. The NHL It has postponed 27 games in recent days due to the new outbreak and it is highly likely that league players will not attend the Winter Olympics that kick off on February 4 in Beijing.
The NBA she remains determined to minimize the number of postponed games and avoid a hiatus. Due to the above, this Sunday night the Players Association and the league itself signed an agreement so that for each player on the roster who enters the health protocol, the teams can sign a substitute. In addition, these firms will not impact the salary cap or the luxury tax of the equipment.
Players with a two-way contract and who still play in the development league had a maximum of 50 games in the development league. NBA per season, that limit will no longer apply and they will be able to play as many times as necessary.
What is the message behind all this? It is not in the plan to stop the machinery, the show must continue and we will take extreme measures in the face of scenarios of the same nature.
But let’s think about this, the product is different, it is not the same to pay to see Kevin Durant as it is to pay to see David Duke, a rookie who has played only the last five games because Steve Nash had no one else to line up. The Nets they have had matches with only eight bodies available. It is not the same to pay sponsorships and television rights to see a generic product that does not produce the same audience levels and therefore marketing.
The intention of not stopping the competition is good, but at what cost? At the end of the day there will be some games that will be more like a development league than the same NBA.
The league has just around the corner the most important day of the regular season, the Christmas games, games programmed with every intention of generating the highest levels of audience and commercialization by programming the most attractive rivalries and facing the star players. Today Durant, Harden, Giannis and Trae Young, among others, are out of that day.
The most anticipated event of the regular season could be a substitute scrimmage from both teams, hopefully not, but it could be.
It’s like putting on a Broadway play with backup actors, or pretending to fill movie theaters with movies that promised The Rock or Will Smith and promising youngsters taking their place. The spirit is plausible, the result hardly will be.