When Will NBA Plan Its Return?



Did Dinwiddie Spill the Beans?

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has not specified a return date for the league but a seemingly innocuous tweet by Nets’ point guard Spencer Dinwiddie could have let the cat out of the bag. Replying to a tweet by sneaker designer, John Geiger, that said, “June 21st NBA Back”, Dinwiddie replied, “That’s just practice... I heard those last 5 games at bubble site start July 15th.”
Although that July 15th date might not be precise, it certainly is in the vicinity of what the whispers have indicated surrounding a return to action. A total of 20 teams have opened their facilities to players this week for voluntary workouts with a maximum of four players allowed at one time.
One of the issues facing the NBA, as well as all other professional sports, is that there are different timelines for different states and even cities to reopen. Therefore, a ground zero of sorts is the most likely answer with Disney World in Orlando, Florida being the frontrunner to house the athletes and conduct the games without fans in attendance. Testing for the COVID-19 virus would be mandatory for all of the players and Silver has expressed his desire to hold a full postseason with each round consisting of the current best-of-seven format.
In a roundtable discussion with Donald Trump, Houston Rockets owner, Tilman Fertitta, commented, "I think what they're doing is waiting to see what happens in certain states and if we're going to be able to play. Making sure the virus continues to go in the right direction in the next few weeks. And I think that if things are going in the way that it's going, I think the NBA, the commissioner Adam Silver, who has done an unbelievable job through this, and the 30 owners will make the decision to try to start the season up again."


Who’s Better than LeBron?

At 35 years old and in his 17th season, LeBron was playing like a man on a mission prior to the shutdown of the league due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last season King James had not assembled his court but now with Anthony Davis in a Lakers’ uniform, there is little slowing him down and, in fact, a case could be made that he is still the best player in the league. His Lakers are in first place in the Western Conference and LB has plenty to do with that.
Yet, some could point to the NBA scoring leader, James Harden of the Rockets and his 34.4 points per game average, or the Greek Freak, Giannis Antetokounmpo, scoring nearly 30 points per game and hauling down nearly 14 boards per game. But Lebron’s league-leading 10.6 assists per game to go along with his 25.7 PPG scoring average is a testament to his ability to sink the rock and keep his teammates involved.
But not everyone agrees, especially former NBA star Paul Pierce. “What has LeBron did to build up any organization from the ground? I’m talking about these players, Top 5 players,” Pierce said on ESPN. “Bill Russell built the organization of Boston, Kareem, Magic, Jordan, Tim Duncan, Kobe, Bird. These guys are all-time Top 10 players who helped build their organization or continued the tradition.”
Few would agree with Pierce’s assessment and most chalk it up to bad blood between the two. LeBron is a historical top-five player on anyone’s list but the debate that rages the longest and most virulent is the one which pits LeBron and the previously undisputed king, Michael Jordan.
The recent 10-part documentary, “The Last Dance”, has given younger NBA fans a chance to see how impactful and masterful Michael Jordan was during the Chicago Bulls reign of supremacy during the 1990s when he won six titles over a span of eight years. But one man who faced Jordan at the height of his powers was diplomatic when discussing who’s better than whom. Magic Johnson declared LeBron the best all-around player but Jordan was the greatest ever….ah, what?
Let’s let Magic speak for himself, "First of all, let's not take anything away from LeBron James," Johnson said, speaking on Stephen A. Smith's The Last Dance special. "Because LeBron James is a great basketball player, one of the all-time greatest that's ever played the game. LeBron James to me, when you think about all-around basketball players, he's probably the best of all time. But when you want to say 'who's the greatest ever?' — it's still Michael Jordan. Now, LeBron James' chapter is not closed yet, right, he still has some basketball to play. So maybe he has a chance to catch him later on if he can get some more championships under his belt."
LeBron or Michael – Michael or LeBron? You can’t go wrong with either choice but whatever you do – don’t listen to Paul Pierce.