Omicron will not be playing Scrooge when it comes to the NBA’s slate of Christmas games.
The NHL already blinked, announcing it would pause its season 2 days early, putting pressure on two other American professional sports leagues. Speaking with Malika Andrews on ESPN’s NBA Today on Tuesday (Dec.21), NBA Commissioner Adam Silver made it abundantly clear there will be NBA basketball played on Christmas day.
“No plans right now to pause the season,” Silver told Malika Andrews. “We’ve, of course, looked at all the options, but frankly, we’re having trouble coming up with what the logic would be behind pausing right now.” Silver’s staunch stance comes after he admits that the highly contagious COVID-19 Omicron variant makes up for 90% of the league’s cases, calling it “beyond dominate.”
At the height of the pandemic, the league decided to restart NBA action but in a bubble, and it was very successful. Silver stated that the NBA would not be going that route again, admitting that COVID-19 is not going anywhere and that we’re at a point where we have to learn to coexist with the virus.
“As we look through these cases literally ripping through the country right now, putting aside the rest of the world, I think we’re finding ourselves where we sort of knew we were going to get to for the past several months — and that is that this virus will not be eradicated and we’re going to have to learn to live with it. That’s what we’re experiencing in the league right now,” Silver said.
As of Tuesday, ESPN’s Baxter Holmes tweeted that 117 out of the 450 NBA players have entered the league’s health and safety protocols.
To combat the loss of players due to COVID-19, the NBA and NBPA agreed to new rules when signing replacement players. NBA fans can expect to watch marquee matchups, Boston at Milwaukee, Golden State at Phoenix, and Brooklyn at the Los Angeles Lakers on ABC if the schedule still holds. Two other games will air on ESPN.
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