Basketball and soccer in this nation stand at completely different ends of the general popularity spectrum, but they share one thing in common: A desire to get back underway through tournaments in Orlando, Florida.
The roster sizes are different, as are the coaching staffs and the general styles of play, so a comparison between the NBA’s plan and what MLS is attempting to do isn’t perfect. Given the circumstances, though, it’s worth examining for the sake of an actual test case.
So far, despite the league’s best efforts, positive coronavirus tests among players and coaches have already begun to climb within MLS’s bubble with less than half of the 26 teams in town. Most of the positive tests likely stem from players contracting the virus before arriving in the bubble itself, but the concern is that the disease’s long incubation period will have given the virus a chance to spread undetected between teammates, hotel staff, and other teams in scrimmages and training, notwithstanding constant testing before and after arrival at Disney World.
Where the NBA will differ has mostly to do with how long teams will have between arriving in Orlando and starting competition. Theoretically, even if a team picks it up in their home market, they’ll have time to have it work its way through the infected before games are set to begin (though the inclusion of scrimmages before the seeding games could be a spreading possibility).
It’s still a fluid situation for both leagues, and MLS has the misfortune of being the organization who dove into the fire first. That league’s loss could be the NBA’s gain if mistakes or weak points identified in that bubble can be addressed in a later iteration. The first reports aren’t comforting, but they aren’t a death knell either. Like we said last week, there’s plenty of time to work through things if going forward is indeed the intention.
Your Money Can’t Silence Me (Players’ Tribune)
In the wake of George Floyd’s killing, you couldn’t help but feel the disturbing parallels between his case and that of Sterling Brown at the hands of the Milwaukee Police Department. Though Sterling survived with his life, he was flippantly deprived of his humanity by officers of the law in the city that was supposed to be his (and many others) home.
So his article has the weight of wretched experience underpinning it, and it feels appropriate given the flashpoint of the moment.
I admit it: I’m partial to The Bossman’s Arguments in favor of the Bucks in the return to playoff pay. I mean, just look at his list! 11 items long instead of 10! QUANTITY AND QUALITY!!!
But we here at Brew Hoop also accept the fealty of any media member who goes through the trouble of cursorily glancing at Basketball Reference and inevitably bends the knee to Milwaukee’s overwhelming dominance. It starts and ends with Giannis, but as we’re all aware there’s much more in-between. Unfortunately, this article went from perfection to only pretty good by taking a swipe at Eric Bledsoe’s playoff inconsistency. This time will be different!
Giannis Antetokounmpo Is Right About 2020 NBA Championship Significance (Sports Illustrated)
We can all agree that whoever wins the title this year (if that even happens) will go down in history as something of an outlier. Of course, we have to wait to determine whether that outlier status will be a boon or a bane for that team in future discussions on whether they “deserve” true title-winner status.
Giannis (& Co.) took part in media availability this week as training opened up again and definitively took a stand on the side that argues that this title will be more significant than most others. It has some logic behind it, too: The world is infected with a virus, basketball got put on life support for months, the players have to sit in a bubble and their best friends during that time will be folks dressed up as anthropomorphic mice in top hats and bows.
I don't know about you, but I sure would find my job harder to do with Goofy breathing down my neck while I’m on the clock.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s upcoming contract decision will be franchise-altering for the Bucks (Wisconsin State Journal)
Come for the Oatesian blasting of entitled superstars, stay for the nod to a long career in Wisconsin sports journalism.
Wanted to toss this in at the end if only because I still can’t get over my initial shock that this is even being discussed. Did Summer League broadcasts on NBATV draw in enough revenue to justify the NBA doing a discount version with the remaining regular season teams in Chicago? I’m sure the owners would be annoyed at paying players to do nothing until training camp opens for next season, but... this really can’t be the solution to that.
The Social Media Section
Listen to Sir Sid
If cactus, with this much diversity can live together in harmony, so can we. pic.twitter.com/6l1wjeAwkv— Sidney Moncrief (@sidneymoncrief_) June 30, 2020
Last week people tried to argue that Brandon Ingram is already a superior player to Khris Middleton. The stats would say otherwise
It’s fitting that Thon failed to connect on a single one of his jump kicks
Two years ago, a brawl broke out between the Philippines and Australia in a FIBA World Cup qualifier pic.twitter.com/AtKAx4kVTK— ESPN (@espn) July 2, 2020
I like Giannis-designed shoes
Ersan is humanity’s only ageless individual
While finishing this article I belatedly realized that MLS isn’t the only American league trying to do this thing amid a pandemic: How could I have forgotten The Basketball Tournament? So far it doesn’t sound like whatever they’re doing is a complete disaster, and the upside is you get to watch Iso Joe Johnson midrange his way past Hasheem Thabeet for $1 million.
In America, sports dollars are eternal.