Basketball

NBA grapples with uncertain future

As the NBA bursts its bubble following the completion of the Finals on Sunday, the league now faces tough questions about when next season will begin and what it will look like.

The league's three-month stay at Walt Disney World in Orlando was a huge success, with no players and coaches testing positive for Covid-19 after the virus derailed the season in March for four months.

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Miami Heat 4-2 to win the championship and cap a thrilling play-offs on Sunday.

But even though the environment was safe, living on the campus required major sacrifices, and there is little appetite to return any time soon.

"You wouldn't be human if you didn't have ups and downs in the bubble," James said.

"At times I was questioning myself, should I be here? Is this worth sacrificing my family? I've never been without my family this long."

DRAFT PUSHED BACK

The 2020-21 campaign was slated to tip off in December, but few expect that to happen given the league just wrapped up the longest season in its history and financial agreements still need to be hammered out.

The NBA has already pushed back this Friday's draft to Nov 18 and commissioner Adam Silver has said he doesn't expect the season to begin this year, with January or possibly February a more likely target.

Silver, however, said he hopes to play a full 82-game season and play-offs in home arenas with fans despite the still raging pandemic, which has killed more than 210,000 people in the United States.

"Part of my job is to study what's happening in other industries... So all of that's on the table right now," Silver said. - REUTERS

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