Lakers vs Wizards NBA Restart
Photo Credit: Silver Screen and Roll

NBA Restart: The NBA Is Back In Full Effect


The NBA is back and in full effect for the first time since March. It’s late July and it is definitely a strange time for fans to be tuning into live NBA basketball and it not being the Summer league. The players have settled in and are adjusting to playing without fans as well as experimenting with new approaches to the game.


Kawhi Leonard of the Los Angeles Clippers was the first player to take the floor on Wednesday afternoon, the matchup between the Clippers and the Orlando Magic was the first jump ball in more than four months for the NBA.


Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

A unique start to the continuation of the league with no fans around in the stands, hockey-style plexiglass surrounding the scorer’s table, and the Orlando Magic being recognized as the visiting team despite being just 23 miles from their home arena. In the end, the Clippers would take the 99-90 victory in the first game back, where a lot of players would get the opportunity to knock off some of the rust in what was just a scrimmage game.

Even though the game will not count record-wise, it was still an important event, nonetheless, as it is a sign that the NBA is indeed back.

The tradition of the national anthem was one thing that was not present before the first scrimmage last Wednesday. However, Black Lives Matter is a feature at all three game sites, emblazoned on the court in large lettering just in front of the scorer’s table.


For the first time in a long time, two teams had competed since the immediate suspension of the season on March 11 after Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive for the coronavirus prior to the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.


Since then, the NBA has been working nonstop to get the league back in some way, shape or form, while also ensuring the safety of the players, maintaining a safe environment, and still giving the players a healthy life inside of the NBA bubble. With many players speaking up about the situation, the league took a significant step in its comeback by holding four scrimmages, just 15 days after the arrival of the teams at the Walt Disney World campus.


TBT The Basketball Tournament
Courtesy: USA Today’s FTW

A total of twenty-two teams were invited to live, practice, and play in what the NBA is referring to as a “bubble” with restricted access at Disney World near Orlando, Florida, trying to complete a season some within the league initially feared would not be finished. Each team took part in three scrimmages before the New Orleans Pelicans face the Jazz later today to begin an 8-game schedule that will then lead into the playoffs. The scrimmages were more of a test run for the NBA. They wanted to give players a chance to get back into regular-season shape.

Also, quarters were reduced to 10 minutes instead of the customary 12-minute quarters for the scrimmages.

The arena will have about 200 people total in attendance for a given game. The number includes both teams, game operations personnel, league representatives, as well as three human camera operators to complement an array of robotic cameras. With the small contingent of reporters permitted to watch, the vibe of the scrimmages so far, have most definitely resembled that of the Summer league.


The Arena is the name of the venue which holds a capacity of 8,000 and is just one of the three that are being used for the restart at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.


Photo Credit: NBA

As far as conditions due to COVID-19, players were instructed by the league to be “clean and neat in appearance” upon arrival at the arena, with postgame showers taking place back at team hotels. Head coaches and their three front-row assistant coaches did not wear masks in these games, but all other team staff members behind them did.

To see the continuation of the season and how it plays out to the very end is going to be some interesting theater. A few players have chipped in their thoughts and said this season would go down as the most memorable season in NBA history, and I tend to agree.

With COVID-19 suspending the season, not to mention the civil rights movement in which many players participated, The 2020 NBA season has had its share of adversity. With the trials and tribulations placed upon the world in the last six months, whichever team can rise above and bring home the title, will genuinely be the team that overcame all.

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Terence Smith- Franchise Sports Media

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