China Postpones Basketball Season Again; How Might This Impact NBA?

Jill Painter Lopez

It’s unclear when we’ll see LeBron James and the Lakers and the rest of the NBA playing again. We know there was a setback Tuesday in resuming basketball and other sports in China due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Chinese government has postponed its basketball and sports seasons once again but has told its athletes the season will resume. It’s just unclear when, according to an ESPN report. 

Many around the world are curious to see what happens when China resumes its sports seasons. The Chinese Basketball Association stopped its basketball season in January when the COVID-19 pandemic began and was hoping to resume in two weeks, but its start has been postponed. 

U.S. sports leagues are considerably further behind China in terms of restarting, so this could be a setback for American sports as well. The best-case scenario for the NBA right now appears to be that the season would resume in June or July but with the news from China, it might be delayed even further. 

But how far can the NBA delay the season before it starts interfering with the 2020-21 season? How long would the offseason be? There are so many questions and so few answers. 

The NBA is considering many ideas on how to proceed after the COVID-19 pandemic slows down. 

One possibility is resuming in one city, such Las Vegas, and having the players quarantined in a hotel near an arena where they would play. Former NBA champion Paul Pierce discussed  that option on ESPN’s "The Jump."

“I just don’t know. It’s jut not the same when you play the game without fans,” Pierce said on the show. “When I watch a summer league game with no pros I get disinterested fast. There’s no one in the stands. You don’t feel the momentum of the crowd. It will be difficult to watch. It’s almost like going to watch a Venice Beach pickup game. You lose interest right away if there’s nobody out there paying attention to it. I like the thought of it and the NBA is always trying to find different ways to be innovative, especially in times like this. But I’m just not a fan of putting everybody in the hotel and playing in one arena.”