The once in a lifetime NBA Restart

July 30, 2019 

The NBA seemed to be birthing a new start as to what I called the “dynamic duo” era. We spent most of the last decade watching trios or stars of three align and win championships. The general concern was that trios could ruin the league and hurt small markets. 

Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant found their way to becoming teammates in Brooklyn. 

Kawhi Leonard called up Paul George and said let’s go home to Los Angeles. 

LeBron settled in with the Lakers coming off an extended vacation and inventively has Anthony Lakers join him in Hollywood.

With Paul George leaving town Oklahoma City watched their own dynamic duo disappear as the Thunder traded Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets as he reunites with James Harden as a teammate again.

Just think back to last summer when at this point we gave the NBA little to no attention as the NFL training camps starting up took priority. MLB was coming off All-Star weekend earlier in the month and the Washington Nationals were giving us a prelude of one hell of a turnaround in baseball history. 

July 30, 2020

The NBA is set to restart tonight. Sounds weird right? If you’re as old as me and a hooper you probably remember the good old days where your drives to summer camps or summer league were all first-class treatment. It was practice, camp, practice, game and then a 24/7 all-inclusive buffet. 

Alright, I should plug mom and dad here as they were responsible for making me feel like an NBA Player with prestigious treatment during the summer.

It’s a one of a kind affair we can potentially call once in a lifetime season. Well, that weighs heavily on life post-COVID-19 returning fans back to arenas and the “old normal” allowable. I like to brag that the NBA Bubble is about 30 miles away from me. 

Usually, at the end of July or early August, I am walking in the same paths at the Walt Disney World Resorts exploring new corners I’ve never seen. However, this summer the NBA has taken over (and COVID-19 too).

Typically at the end of July, the champagne from the NBA’s newest (or returning champion) has dried out, the NBA Draft has passed, Summer League is over, and free agency period usually has locked up the prized player by the end of July.

For what seems like the once in a lifetime opportunity, the NBA returns at we could call the prime of the season. Eight more games to count toward the season records and in two weeks we’ll be talking about playoffs in the middle of August! 

Lebron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, and the rest of the NBA’s premier players are in town all under one location. The Walt Disney World Resort and ESPN Wide World of Sports host some of the most unlikely guests they could never imagine hosting together.

For us avid fans we are licking our chops in the desperation of seeing the prime of the league compete for the highest of NBA accolades, the Larry O’Brien trophy. Let’s knock on wood and thus far hope the zero positive COVID-19 tests stay consistent until mid-October. 

The idea of summer basketball and maybe changing the time frame of the season gets a test ride due to a world pandemic. Under special circumstances amid a social justice movement for equality and concerns of a virus, no one is immune from the NBA still is managing to put forth a season finish and one like no other.

The return is tonight as TNT gets first dibs on hosting the nationally televised broadcast of the first restart game at 6:30 PM EST, Utah Jazz at the New Orleans Pelicans and later at 9 PM EST, the Los Angeles Clippers “visiting” the Los Angeles Lakers.

What can we get out of this season or campus sets the endless opportunities that the NBA can produce to keep fans and athletes happy. With the optimism that the world goes back to normal, I’m already thinking about next summer without basketball. However, the NBA is placed in a decision to restart the league as early as December or perhaps take advantage of giving us summer basketball yet again next year.

Listen to our NBA coverage on the Shoot or Pass Podcast all season long