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Reacts: How should the NBA handle the league-wide COVID outbreak?

With more and more players entering health and safety protocols across the league, what’s the best way for the NBA to move forward?

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Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NBA. Each week, we send out questions to the most plugged in Los Angeles Lakers fans, and fans across the country. Sign up here to join Reacts, and check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.

With each passing day, the NBA has seen more and more players enter protocols, necessitating a change in the league’s rules to allow the signing of replacement players. It was a move made to help curb the postponement of games, though even that hasn’t stopped contests from being canceled with the Bulls and Raptors contest being postponed on Tuesday morning, hours before the game itself.

In this week’s SB Nation Reacts survey of NBA fans, the public opinion is currently split on how the league is handling matters.

Last week, fans felt the league was moving too slowly in addressing the COVID outbreak. A mixture of allowing the replacement players and the fluid situation of COVID has changed opinions. The discussion on how the NBA should specifically address the current COVID-19 situation is very mixed. The current plan is for games to go on as scheduled, including the annual Christmas Day games that are a highlight of the season, a plan that most feel is the right call.

While suspending the season for 10 days makes sense in theory, there are a host of conflicts it creates for teams and cities and arenas. Each arena the teams play in typically has a very busy schedule of events going on during the year and moving NBA games back 10 days could create conflicts with concerts or performances slated to take place in the arena already.

The easy counterpoint to that is that when there are lives potentially on the line, the games should be postponed. It’s a moral balance the league is continuing to make and one they’ve been forced to deliberate since March of 2020.

New mandates from cities could force the hands of teams, as may be the case in Washington DC. The city reinstituted an indoor mask mandate and Wizards fans feel that should be the start of restrictions to help curb the spread.

For now, limiting attendance could be a middle ground between suspending games and going on as normal for now. It’s a fluid situation for the league, teams, cities and arenas that everyone is tackling in the moment as they look to navigate and pandemic-impacted season.

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