The NBA might not return until at least September, New York Times NBA reporter Marc Stein predicted on The Habershow podcast with NBC Sports national NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh.
“It sounds like an extreme, extreme, extreme long shot to be able to make any of this happen by July or even August,” Stein said. “But at this point, at this juncture early April, there is still time. There’s no reason to rush, so let’s just see. But yeah I think people need to maintain a sense of realism here that as badly as NBA Twitter and hoops fans everywhere want the league to come back, it just may not be possible this season.”
But Giannis Antetokounmpo and the first-place Milwaukee Bucks shouldn’t schedule fittings for a championship ring quite yet.
“I don’t think we are going to get to some point where they say, ‘the season is canceled, congratulations Milwaukee Bucks, you are the champions,’” Stein said. “I don’t see that happening.”
Stein has interviewed a number of NBA players about how they are keeping busy without basketball. Cleveland Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. told Stein “I feel like I lost two seasons” because he is not able to play basketball nor watch Premier League soccer.
“This is the first time in our lives we don’t have sports as that outlet from the bad stuff,” Stein said.
Here are the timestamps for Haberstroh’s interview with Stein:
7:30 -- The whirlwind of the season being shutdown
11:31 -- Biggest Premier League fan in the NBA
25:45 -- Options the NBA is exploring at this moment
34:06 -- Potential NBA calendar
47:01 -- How different the NBA Draft and evaluation will be this year
For more on the coronavirus, listen to Haberstroh’s podcast with former UCLA star Michael Roll, who is now under a total lockdown in Italy while playing for Olimpia Milano: