Over the past week the basketball world has seen plenty of events take place. The return of the season is coming into focus and plans are becoming public knowledge, while a few Celtics players are using their reputations to bring attention to social issues. Here are some recent stories that have happened over the past week.
NBA Draft To Be Set Back
It is now expected that the NBA will be rescheduling the Draft, which normally occurs in late June, to early September. This is not a surprising decision, as the league has to finish the season before the draft can take place. At least that has been the norm, with the draft always occurring post-NBA championship series. This will be the first of many steps to shift the entire season and offseason by a few months.
Reopening of Training Facilities
NBA teams have begun to reopen facilities, mostly for involuntary workouts. The Celtics, Knicks, and Wizards are a few of the more recent teams adding to the ever growing list, thanks to each states governor’s giving the thumbs up. The two ladder teams opened in late May, while the Celtics opened June 1.
As of writing, there are only three teams that have yet to reopen or schedule a reopening. Those are the Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, and San Antonio Spurs. The league is trying to restart the league as soon as possible, but should still give the players enough time to get back in the swing of things.
Celtics Take Part In Protests
Following the shocking recent events that have propelled civil rights to the forefront of everyone’s minds, a handful of Celtics players took to the streets. Last Sunday Marcus Smart, Enes Kanter, and Vincent Poirier participated in the Boston protests, each taking an emotional stand.
“We want to come out here and let our voices be heard,” Smart said. “We stand for truth and we stand for justice, and we won’t stop until we get justice, and that’s really what this is about. I just want to tell everyone who thinks this is something more than it is, it’s not. Despite color or gender, the truth is the truth and justice is justice, and justice hasn’t been served, and people are pissed off about it.”Smart talking to NBC Sports Boston
Jaylen Brown also joined in the protests, though not in Boston. Instead he drove for 15 hours to Atlanta, Georgia, which is roughly 20 minutes away from his hometown of Marietta. He was a central piece in the protests, along with fellow NBA player Malcolm Brogdon.
“Being a celebrity, being an NBA player don’t exclude me from no conversations at all,” Brown said. “First and foremost I’m a black man and I’m a member of this community. We’re raising awareness for some of the injustices that we’ve been seeing. It’s not OK.”Brown on an Instagram livestream
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens has also taken notice of Brown’s impact in Atlanta. He has even gone so far as to say Brown’s greatest impact WON’T be in basketball. This is certainly quite a claim, especially considering the constant growth in Brown’s game since his rookie year. He was almost an All Star last year, and will probably make at least a handful before he calls it quits. But Stevens sees the potential social impact his player can have, partially through skill that translates into basketball as well.
“Jaylen’s greatest impact, as good as he is at basketball, won’t be in basketball,” said Stevens. “He’s a special guy, he’s a special leader. He’s smart but he has courage. He’s got a lot of great stuff to him, and I think we recognize that when we drafted him but I think that he has been even more unbelievable every day, every year. I’ve always personally really enjoyed listening to him and talking to him about things outside of basketball. He told me he was going down there on Thursday and, obviously, I certainly am not surprised by him taking a leadership role. That’s who he is.”Stevens in a press conference Tuesday
Season Plan Expected To Be Approved
Back to the topic of basketball and the NBA, it appears we are nearing the start of the season. NBA commisioner Adam Silver will reportedly be proposing a 22-team return-to-play plan. Owners are expected to accept this during their next call on Thursday, June 3. Sixteen of the teams will be the current playoffs teams, eight from each conference, while the six teams are all teams that are currently within six games of their respective eight seed.
Each of the teams, including the sixteen playoff teams, will play eight regular season games in Orlando to help determine seeding. Five of the six non-playoff teams will be from the west under this proposal, with those teams being the Pelicans, Trail Blazers, Suns, Kings, and Spurs while the east has the Wizards.
It is more likely than not that most of the current playoff teams will make it into the new playoffs, as the ninth seed must be within four games of the eighth seed to even force a a double-elimination play-in tournament. There the ninth seed would need to win two straight games, while all the eighth seed needs is one win. The season will most likely begin in two months, as the NBA is targeting July 31 for their return to play, while the season could potentially last all the way to October.