Former Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan is prioritizing player safety ahead of a potential return to the 2019-20 NBA season.
The NBA seems to be working tirelessly to get basketball back into the world as quickly and safely as possible. According to Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic, the NBA had a discussion with the Board of Governors about four different styles of competition the league could see upon returning.
Also per Charania, former Chicago Bulls hero and current Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan has been advocating for player safety, meaning having teams and players avoid games that are ‘meaningless.’
It makes sense that Jordan would choose this position. The Hornets weren’t exactly kicking butt and taking names prior to the league-wide shutdown. They currently hold a 23-42 record, good for 10th in the Eastern Conference (and one game better than the Bulls).
If the league opted into the 30-team return (which Charania points out is unlikely), it’d be interesting to see what Jordan has to say about his Hornets showing up. If the 30-team return does indeed involve a play-in tourney where all 30 teams have a shot at making the playoffs, then the games wouldn’t necessarily be meaningless — unless Jordan views sneaking into the playoffs only to get destroyed by an elite team as meaningless (which, by the way, would be a fair point of view given the health risks that come with a potential return).
A decision hasn’t yet been made as to when, or how, the NBA will return, but it feels closer than it has since the pandemic started. Now, it’s fewer hypotheticals and more practical solutions.
Whether Jordan’s Hornets are involved or not doesn’t much matter. I just want any semblance of NBA basketball back in my life.