The NBA won’t make any determinations about its immediate future until May—and certainly won’t resume the 2019-20 season in any form until (or unless) the broader state of America allows for easy and plentiful coronavirus testing, at the very least. But just as the league led the way in shutting down operations in the face of COVID-19, could the best basketball league in the world set a precedent of sorts for society’s eventual return to normalcy? That’s just a part of the discussion on this week’s Hollywood Hoops.
Eric Pincus and Josh Martin tip off this week’s episode by reflecting on the four-year anniversary of Kobe Bryant’s final game with the Los Angeles Lakers, otherwise known as “Mamba Day.” In these times without live sports, there’s nothing like nostalgia about an indelible moment in hoops history!
Our co-hosts then return to their now-weekly discussion of what it will take for the NBA to get back to business and what it could look like when it does. How much might the Chinese Basketball Association’s repeatedly delayed attempts at a restart affect Adam Silver’s outlook here in the US? What will it take for the league’s players and owners to navigate through an expected and unprecedented drop in basketball-related income? Why might some players object more vehemently than others to having another portion of their wages held in escrow, and what role will agents play in assuaging concerns and negotiating terms?
Finally, Eric and Josh consider the role the NBA might play in normalizing a new way of life in the wake of extended quarantining and social distancing. Could the league give fans at home a glimpse of the hoops we will all have to jump through in order to go to work, dine out and socialize again? What lessons about today’s viral reality can we draw from the way basketball stood at the forefront of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, with Magic Johnson as the face and voice of that crisis?
Be sure to turn your brain on (and keep it that way) for the latest edition of #HollywoodHoops!
00:00 – Mamba Day Memories + Basketball in China
17:47 – NBA Business Post-Corona
29:59 – Hoops Held in Escrow
50:09 – Another Magical NBA PSA?