It’s been nearly two months since the NBA suspended its season due to the coronavirus pandemic, and almost a month since the originally scheduled start of the 2020 playoffs (April 18). Even with the opening of team facilities for individual workouts, the passing of each day brings more doubt about the viability of finishing the season.
From Hall of Fame center Shaquille O’Neal’s perspective, the point of no return has already been reached.
Speaking with Mike D. Sykes II of For The Win, O’Neal said he thinks the league should abandon any plans of resuming the 2019-20 season and begin preparations for next season.
“I think we should scrap the season. Everybody go home, get healthy, come back next year,” O’Neal said. “Just scrap the season. Just scrap it. To try and come back now and do a rush playoffs as a player? Any team that wins this year, there’s an asterisk.
“They’re not going to get the respect. What if a team that’s not really in the mix of things all of a sudden wins with a new playoff format? Nobody is going to respect that. So, scrap it. Worry about the safety of the fans and the people. Come back next year.”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver held a league-wide conference call on Friday and said that, should the league resume play this season, no fans would be in attendance at games. Silver said that a decision on whether or not to restart the season does not have to come in May, and could be put off until mid-June, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Silver also said that if the season does resume, “it would be safer to be in a single location, or two, to start.”
Amid reports that some NBA executives and agents wanted the rest of the season to be canceled, LeBron James refuted these claims on Twitter, saying the season should restart “as soon as it’s safe.”
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