NBA to resume season: MLB remains at an impasse
What has long been a rumor has finally come to fruition. The NBA has finally confirmed, voted on, and approved measures to resume the 2019-2020 regular season on July 31st. However, uncertainty remains with another major North American sports league – Major League Baseball.
The NBA Presses Forward
As of June 3rd, the NBA plans to play out an abbreviated regular season and playoffs at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. The plan is all but confirmed, it’s just waiting for final approval from the NBA Player’s Association, however, it was voted on and approved by a vote of 29-1 by owners. The NBPA is expected to sign off on the plan on Friday, June 5th.
The season will not pick up where it left off. In fact, the NBA is only taking 22 of its 30 teams (13 from the Western Conference and 9 from the Eastern Conference) to Orlando to play out the remainder of the season.
The teams will play just eight regular season games and there will be a play-in tournament for the 8th seed in the playoffs but only if the 9th seed finishes within four games of the 8th seed. The playoff format will remain the same as each conference will be seeded one through eight and there will be a best of 7 series in each round until a champion is crowned.
The revised schedule is both exciting and disappointing. On one hand it’s exciting for fans of the league and sports bettors. Particularly, fans who have began using Colorado online sports betting apps after it launched in May with no major sports. Soon the residents there will finally have the NBA to actively bet on each week.
On the flip side, if you are a fan of the eight teams that didn’t make the cut of 22 you may be disappointed that you’ll have to wait several more months to see your team play again. Additionally, if you’re a sports bettor and had any future bets on the eight teams that were left out you’re definitely feeling short changed since an 82-game season was taken away from you.
Furthermore, the league has tentatively scheduled for play to resume on July 31st. It’s expected that there will be zero fans in attendance at the games and other protocols will be put into place in order to protect teams and personnel from the threat of COVID-19.
In a statement, Commissioner Adam Silver said:
“While the COVID-19 pandemic presents formidable challenges, we are hopeful of finishing the season in a safe and responsible manner based on strict protocols now being finalized with public health officials and medical experts. We also recognize that as we prepare to resume play, our society is reeling from recent tragedies of racial violence and injustice, and we will continue to work closely with our teams and players to use our collective resources and influence to address these issues in very real and concrete ways.”
Some teams have already opened their facilities for individual player workouts but the league expects all 22 teams to be up and running on June 21st and training camp to start on June 30th.
The MLB is Still Looking for Solutions
While the NBA has joined a handful of other sports leagues around the world in resuming play, the MLB is still far behind. Recently, team owners rejected the Player’s Association proposal to play out a 114-game season.
The 114-game season would have extended the baseball season well into October. The league has its own suggestion – an abbreviated 82-game season, which includes pay cuts for some of the league’s biggest stars.
Since the rejection, the Player’s Associate has not come back to the negotiation table and offered a counter solution. The negotiations are effectively at an impasse. Only time will tell if the league and the MLBPA can find a middle ground to salvage their season.