The NBA's attempt to stage a high-intensity, face-to-face indoor team sport in the midst of a pandemic has swiftly proven to be as difficult as anticipated. "This is the NBA in 2021," New Orleans Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy joked after his team's game against the Dallas Mavericks was canceled on Monday. "It's a brand new year with a brand new set of problems."
While most of the league was taking time off from work and play this week, a few teams were in Las Vegas preparing for the season by practicing with and without fans present at T-Mobile Arena. But even with thousands of dollars being spent on equipment and facilities, there are no guarantees that these games will be played next month as planned.
The cancellation of more than half of the NBA's schedule is expected to result in huge losses for many teams. The initial plan was for players to continue to be paid during the suspension of activity in an effort to prevent further financial damage to franchises.
The cancellation of games comes at a bad time for some teams. The Milwaukee Bucks are 4-1 this season when they score 100 points or more in a game and need only nine more victories to reach the playoffs. The Philadelphia 76ers are just two wins away from reaching the postseason for the first time since 2013. The Toronto Raptors, who missed out on the playoffs last year, have a good chance of making it in with a couple of winnable games left in their schedule.
The National Basketball Players Association's new president will be CJ McCollum. At Saturday's Board of NBPA Player Representatives, CJ McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers was voted President of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA). The announcement was made by Billy Hunter, former President of the NBPA who resigned last month after being charged with extortion and conspiracy.
McCollum, a four-time All-Star point guard who has played for five teams in nine seasons, will be expected to help lead an association that includes many prominent names but which has been without a leader since its former president, Billy Hunter, stepped down following his arrest on extortion charges last month. Hunter is scheduled to go on trial next year in New York City.
As president, McCollum will have a role in helping determine union policy and will serve as an ambassador for the organization. He also will have a voice in basketball related matters before the league including collective bargaining agreements and other business involving his teammates and coaches.
"I am honored to be elected as the new president of the NBPA," said McCollum. "It is an important position that requires strong leadership as we work to make sure our players are taken care of both on and off the court. I look forward to working with my fellow players, members of the media and management towards achieving those goals."
So the NBA's game basketballs are presented to the officials for pre-game inspection, and they serve as the officials' (particularly, the crew chief for that game) purveyors during the game. Because there is just one ball, there is no need for teams to use their own balls every time they win control. However, each team has the option of taking home a ceremonial ball after certain victories.
The last official to receive a game ball was Steve Javie of the Chicago Bulls, on December 30, 2009 in a game against the New York Knicks. The previous day, the Bulls had beaten the Knicks 105-103 to take over first place in the Eastern Conference.
There is only one game ball per season; it is awarded to the winner of that season's championship series. If a game six of the finals is required, then all six players who participated in that series will get an opportunity to wear the game ball during All-Star Weekend in their city.
The game ball is red with white trim and is approximately the size of a baseball. It is embroidered with the winning team's logo along with their city and year of victory. Before each game, the ball is inspected by the referees to make sure it is in good condition. If it is not, then the crew chief will order another one from the league office.
The NBA is well-known. After a three-year fight to gain both players and fans, the competing Basketball Association of America (BAA) and the National Basketball League (NBL) combined to establish the National Basketball Association on this day in 1949. (NBA). The BAA was founded in 1946 to challenge the nine-year-old NBL's predominance. The two leagues had been competing against each other since the early 1930s when the original Harlem Globetrotters joined the NBL. The BAA was established by a merger between the American Basketball Association (ABA) and the National Professional Basketball League (NPBL). The ABA was founded in 1943 as an alternative to World War II-related restrictions on basketball activity. The NPBL was created in 1948 by a merger of the Eastern Division of the National Basketball League (NBL) with the Western Division of the American Basketball League (ABL). The remaining teams in the ABL reformed their rosters for the 1949 season.
One unique thing about the NBA is that it has never had a single owner. This is because sports leagues are not owned by anyone specifically, but by the public at large. If someone wants to start a new team, they can apply to join an existing league. However, no one owns the NBA, so it can't be transferred or sold like other sports franchises.