The NBA and Adam Silver have shown leadership in crisis. In many ways all other sports, and the country at large, have taken their cues from them.
And while the league’s hand may have been forced following the positive coronavirus diagnosis of Rudy Gobert and others, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t get credit. Compare the reaction Silver’s decisive action has gotten to the one of the man who occupies the highest office in the land for evidence of that.
Suspending the entire season isn’t easy. By doing so immediately the NBA caused a domino effect that led to the cancellation of March Madness and a pause for all other major sports, which hopefully will help to keep the pandemic from spreading. And speaking of not easy, that’s been navigating this season for the Commissioner, as it started with the controversy in China and saw the death of David Stern and the tragic accident that took Kobe Bryant in a few months span. Followed by the unprecedented move to pause play.
But there was something calming about Silver’s presentation when he said he didn’t know what was next as the league would be suspended for likely at least thirty days, though he seemed hopeful games could resume in time to save the season.
Which was enough to give this NBA fan reason to hope for hoops this Summer, public health coming first of course. Silver’s approach also clearly resonated with the biggest name in the game as LeBron James sent a message to fans attached to the Commissioner’s letter to them via his Instagram.
Running a major professional sports league is tough. Making the call to stop doing so is even tougher. But once the NBA did, the rest followed, and perhaps that allowed many to realize just how serious this is.
That’s leadership. I guess ball is life after all.