Before the NBA suspended its season due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus in the United States, the Los Angeles Lakers clinched a spot in the postseason for the first time since the 2012-13 season with a record of 49-14. The 49 games they’ve won through their first 63 games is the most wins they’ve won in that span since the 2008-09 season, when they went 50-13 and ended the season with a record 65-17.
In layman’s terms, the Lakers have been really, really good this season, and during a conference call with reporters on Wednesday, the team’s general manager Rob Pelinka said that he’s proud of the work they’ve done as a team this season. However, he, like most owners, executives and players around the league, is hopeful that there will be a conclusion to the season (via Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times):
“It’s almost like I look at our season as a series of tests and we took a lot of tests and we got a lot of A’s,” said the Lakers general manager and vice president of basketball operations. “We got some A-pluses and A-minuses. We haven’t had a chance to take a final exam yet. … Those are things that I’m very grateful for, that people did a lot of work to put into that. We do hope we get a chance to finish what we started ...
“We have to continue to look for avenues and pathways of how this might play out,” Pelinka said. “All of us hope there’s a way to have an NBA champion crowned.”
The most promising avenue for the NBA (and every other sports league that’s currently on hiatus as a result of the coronavirus) is a rapid-response test for the coronavirus. According to a report by Baxter Holmes of ESPN on Monday, the NBA and NBPA are in the “exploratory phase” of assessing the viability of blood-testing devices that could provide results within 15 minutes. A test like that would obviously be a huge step for the NBA, but it would also be a massive development for the public’s health, which has to be the No. 1 priority during this scary pandemic.
For the sake of sports, the people who watch them and everyone else, let’s hope these tests are available to the public sooner rather than later.