Mendoza: NBA biting the bullet

Al Mendoza
·2 min read

AMERICA’S leading sports honchos, undaunted by the pandemic, simply continue to be daring as to consistently embrace the bold policy to “co-exist” with the coronavirus.

To them seemingly, millions infected and thousands dead, life has got to go on.

If they are essentially biting the bullet, so to speak, it can’t be helped.

Leading the mavericks is the National Basketball Association (NBA), which just declared Dec. 22 as the tentative kickoff of the league’s 2020-2021 season. No guts, no glory.

That’s just over two months after the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Miami Heat, 4-2, to win their 17th record-tying NBA crown with archrival Boston Celtics.

And while that makes the Lakers and the Heat the least rested if that date is adopted, many players gave hints they want a longer offseason after that exhaustive Orlando bubble — practically a “prison” for them at the Walt Disney complex from July to October.

But given the circumstances, they can’t complain.

Chris Paul, the NBA Players Association president, has acceded to the team owners’ wish for the early start. Among professionals, a job is a job. They swear by the soldier’s credo, too: Obey first, complain later.

The NBA, like virtually all the world’s top sporting events, lost five months to Covid-19 from March to July. That translates to an enormous amount of revenues going down the drain.

But as dedicated movers and shakers, owners and players should always combine to keep their toy in top shape, afloat when the river’s swollen.

Thus, they earnestly hope that the Dec. 22 start could help recoup losses for the No. 1 basketball tournament on the planet.

While the opening date chops down 72 games from the league’s normal schedule, it would somehow put on track the NBA’s usual October-to-June 2020-21 calendar.

That’s what you call looking ahead, thinking positive, when amid a crisis.

Philippine Basketball Association bigwigs, take note?

I’m almost sure the July Olympics came into play when the NBA moguls were discussing the next NBA season. The world only has eyes for the Games once they are on. Restoring the NBA Finals to June again was but a given. More than perfect.