Cody's Choice: Whyt he NBA should do everything it can to not cancel the season

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) knocks down Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis as he drives to the basket during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles in March. Antetokounmpo was the front-runner for the league’s MVP award before the season was halted in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since taking the reins over from David Stern as the new NBA commissioner in 2014, Adam Silver has quickly gained traction over the years in being known as one of the best, if not the best commissioner in professional sports.

That’s because over the past six seasons commissioner Silver has been able to grow the NBA to new heights, both nationally and globally, by always having an open perspective in regards toward the thoughts and feelings of its league’s players, owners and fans.

Silver has not only exponentially grown the WNBA, NBA G League, and NBA 2K League over the past six years, but he has also empowered the league’s players by allowing them to speak on any social issues his players see fit. His stance on social issues and player freedom is something nobody has ever quite seen by a commissioner. Unlike Rodger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, Silver has been able to bring peace between his players and owners.

Through it all, he’s done it while simultaneously being able to increase the league revenue each season since taking over the league in 2014.

Unfortunately for Silver, that streak will most likely come to an end this season due to the coronavirus forcing the NBA to shut down mid-season.

Even so Silver has remained busy by exerting every option possible to try and be able to have a salvaged season. The NBA has previously explored options in Las Vegas and Disneyland as possible locations if it was to resume its season. And these are just some of the many options that the league and Silver have been looking at over the past few months.

Yet for some reason, some individuals believe that the NBA should just scratch the season and prepare for next year. A recent example of this ideology has come from former NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal.

Shaq believes the NBA should just give up on the season because he thinks the would-be champions would be looked at differently than those who conquered a traditional season. He went on to explain in an interview with For The Win that he thinks this year’s champions would have an asterisk next to their name, given the league’s circumstances this season.

To me, it’s just blasphemous to say such a thing. If the season were to resume and a champion is crowned, then I don’t see how they could be slighted. The amount of work the champions would have to put in is just as much hard work, if not more, than those who have already been crowned.

For example, the consensus league MVP at the time of play stoppage, Giannis Antetokounmpo, told reporters last month that he hasn’t picked up a basketball in any form since going into quarantine. And I’m sure he is just one of numerous players across the league who are in the same situation.

Sure some players have courts at the homes, but they are in the minority. If Antetokounmpo, one of the NBA’s biggest superstars, doesn’t have a hoop in his home then it’s safe to say that the majority of the league’s players probably don’t either. With team facilities usually always accessible, most young players who don’t have a family of their own often nestle up in an apartment in the city they play for.

While some megastars like LeBron James have their own courts, there is an even playing field when it comes to in-person communication and practice. None of the players had been allowed to enter their team’s facilities until a handful opened back up this weekend. But even then, no teams have yet allowed even a full five-person lineup in the gym at the same time.

So, if everyone has to abide by the same rules during a shortened season and one team comes out victorious then why should we look at them differently? Is it because the season will probably be shortened?

If that’s the case, then there should be an asterisk next to 1999 San Antonio Spurs and 2012 Miami Heat, who both won championships during a shortened season.

While the circumstances behind the shortened seasons couldn’t be more different, the circumstances don’t win championships. Hard work and overcoming whatever circumstances are thrown in front of you win championships.

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