By Ved Trivedi
As seasons come to an end, players and fans usually experience a five-month break after a hard season. Even though players are free to spend their time however they want, what a player does during the offseason defines them. Players train as they try to outperform their previous season’s statistics, and the offseason is filled with blockbuster trades and drafts that can decide a team’s future. Despite the changes, the NBA has been able to set their schedule back on track, but at what cost?
For an NBA player, the draft is a special day. When an athlete hears his or her name on the speaker, it is a once in a lifetime experience when they are truly rewarded for their hard work throughout college. Similar to the players, this is also a big event for fans. They have the suspense of seeing which players will be going to each team. However, this year, there was a virtual draft in order to comply with the safety precautions.
Artwork by Sabeena Ramdarie, @jammin_with_jelly
People are working hard to have sports return to the center stage in order to protect the jobs of hundreds of staff members.
Draft players receive team hats on draft night that symbolize the start of their NBA career. To recreate this iconic moment, draftees received boxes with hats from all 30 teams. Upon learning what team they have been drafted to, they wear their team's hat. Obi Toppin, the eighth draft pick, burst into tears after being drafted by his home team, the New York Knicks.
“This year's draft class was great! I was worried about how the NBA would handle the draft situation, but they made the draft enjoyable as ever,” said senior Araf Abbas.
Despite the unconventional draft process, the NBA made it a memorable experience for fans and players alike.
Due to the pandemic, the schedule shifted. A usual 27-week offseason has been shortened to a mere ten weeks. Due to the shutdown of the NBA, the playoffs occurred much later than usual, which led to a shortened offseason. What does this mean for the players?
“Although there is not much action during the offseason, it is pivotal for the NBA. Being able to develop new skills, sharpen your playstyle, and develop young players is what the offseason needs to do. Without this, every season would look the same. I look forward to seeing the rise of new stars in the league,” said senior Daniyal Azeem.
As the draft comes to an end, the journey does not stop for these players. An athlete like Ben Simmons works on expanding his playing style to be more versatile, while Trae Young works on getting stronger. Additionally, the free agency starts during the offseason. This means that NBA players move to different teams in hopes of getting more money, playing time, and better performance. These trades could potentially change the entire dynamic of the NBA. With less time now, teams’ decisions are on a tighter clock and apply even more pressure on the managerial staff.
The NBA is also facing financial issues, just like other major franchises. With fans, sports are a source of entertainment, and these franchises are multi-billion dollar companies that play a major role in both the economy and the jobs of thousands of individuals. Although to fans it just seems like a couple of months without sports, the employees and the staff are left with a tough situation and immediate unemployment.
“Because we all see sports as a game, we are always forgetting how large of a corporation it is and how many people’s lives are affected by it...”
“Because we all see sports as a game, we are always forgetting how large of a corporation it is and how many people’s lives are affected by it. As much as we miss our entertainment, we also have to think about the people who rely on these sports as income,” said senior Cris Elledge.
To generate cash flow as soon as possible, sports such as basketball, golf, and football are opening up arenas and stadiums while also mandating social distancing laws.
To accommodate for the decreased income, the disappointment of fans, and the loss of important staff, major franchises are rushing to bring back sports to the screens of the public.