If the NBA announced the cancellation of the season tomorrow, the Los Angeles Lakers would end the season as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference for the first time since the 2009-10 season — the year they won the NBA championship.
While that would obviously be a tremendous feat for a team that hasn’t been close to finishing in the top half of the standings since the 2012-13 season, it wouldn’t be as gratifying as watching the Lakers finish the season and compete for a championship — and it’s not just the fans that feel that way.
During a conference call with reporters on Wednesday, LeBron James said that, as much as he’s appreciated the memories he’s made with his teammates this season, he won’t be completely satisfied until the season has a proper end — with playoffs and a championship game.
LeBron James, in conference call with reporters, says he “won’t have any closure” if the NBA season doesn’t resume.— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) April 8, 2020
He says he’d take satisfaction in having had some memorable times/games with Lakers teammates this season but, “Closure? No.”
LeBron James on a conference call right now with some media says he'll appreciate some of the special moments from this season regardless, but: "I don’t think I would be able to have any closure if we did not have an opportunity to finish the season."— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) April 8, 2020
It’s worth noting that James prefaced all of these comments by saying that he understands that there are public health and safety issues at hand that are much bigger than basketball, but his feelings mirror those of basketball fans and players around the world, except James’ feelings come from a different place because he and his teammates worked so hard to get to where they were before the NBA season was suspended.
It would obviously be disappointing if the Lakers didn’t get the opportunity to finish the NBA season, but almost everyone has a story of something they’ve had sacrifice for the sake of public health and safety — from the graduates that won’t be getting a commencement ceremony in May, to the couples that have had to postpone their wedding ceremonies. It’s been hard for everyone.
Obviously, everyone is hoping for a hint of normalcy as soon as possible — and some good ol’ fashioned NBA basketball would be that — but until it makes sense for basketball to return, it shouldn’t. When it does return, though, let’s hope it’s for the 2019-20 season and not the 2020-21 season.