• It must be a terrible burden put on LeBron and other star players, but particularly LeBron, to play this year. He said he wants to play, but what if he didn’t? What if he decided, as is his right, to say ‘oh I don’t think it’s safe yet‘, and stayed home this year?
If it were any other player that’d be ok. They’d get flak for sure but it would die down and a lot of people would understand. But LeBron? If he didn’t show up then that’s it. There wouldn’t be a point to watch the NBA for a lot of people, sponsors would pull out and the whole idea may collapse.
So the NBA should really thank their lucky stars LeBron is ok with this. If he had not it would have been a total disaster.
• Re the playing court, I like the fact there is so much distance from the inbound line to the edge of the walls and the bench, which kind of reminds me of hockey penalty boxes. That distance had always been a pet peeve of mine. In an effort to give expensive front row seat owners a special experience they’re literally a leg away from the sidelines. If they stand to go to the bathroom they’re in real danger of running into a player who happens to inbound the ball or a coach pacing his bench. It amazes my why the safety aspect is overlooked. How many times have we guys dive into the the crowd just under the rim. We forget these guys are huge. 5’8 me won’t make any difference but a 6’5 or 7 footer can literally break theirs or a fans face from the momentum of a layup or trying to chase a ball down.
The new courts have lots of space and you’re free to dive right into the ground all you like and you won’t hit anything or anyone.
• Finally, I didn’t realize they had piped in crowd music, which sounds like a fail. I had only been watching highlights on youtube and didn’t notice, but ESPN talked about it and asked their talking heads what they think. I think it’s a fail. I love just hearing the sound of the guys playing. If they amped the sound up a bit you can probably hear calls being planned or defensive players calling out an opponent’s name to check him. I’d love to hear that albeit the risk of hearing cursing would be high, potentially turning sponsors off.
In any case, piping in fake crowd music is weird and sounds like a bad idea.