Last week, the National Basketball Players Association held a conference call to discuss and vote on the restart of the NBA season. In the call, Brooklyn Nets star guard and NBPA Vice President Kyrie Irving led a group of players in voicing their concerns about restarting the season due to COVID-19 and current social issues, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The concerns raised by Irving and other players have the potential to put an end to the NBA season which could lead to significant changes for the immediate future of the NBA.
According to Wojnarowski, if the season is cancelled, players could lose up to $1.2 billion of salary, compared to the estimated $300 million they are expected to lose due to the COVID-19 shutdown. In addition, if this season is not finished it will likely end up in the NBA abolishing its Collective Bargaining Agreement and locking out players for next season, which would likely force players to miss games due to negotiations and give up more money in a new deal. The decision obviously carries a lot of weight with players but ultimately affects much more than it seems on the surface. Team staff members, arena workers and sports writers/commentators would also suffer with a lack of money to go around as a result of the season being cancelled. In addition to the monetary and historical consequences, fans around the would likely lose NBA basketball for another indefinite period of time.
If the season is not concluded, it will be the first time since 1946 that the NBA has not crowned a champion. The season would go down as the all-time “What if?” in the history of sports and would be debated for years to come. The cancellation would cause an avalanche of discussion on whether the decision was right or wrong and what implications it could have for the future of the NBA and its players.
For nearly 75 years the NBA has never cancelled a season. However, if enough players speak out against finishing this season, it could be the kick-start to one of the biggest turning points for the NBA as well as all professional sports leagues and athletes around the world.
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