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The 2020 NBA season could be headed for a revival. The league is in talks with Disney World to potentially restart what's left of the 2019-2020 season this summer, the NBA confirmed on Saturday (May 23).
“The NBA, in conjunction with the National Basketball Players Association, is engaged in exploratory conversations with The Walt Disney Company about restarting the 2019-20 NBA season in late July at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida as a single site for an NBA campus for games, practices and housing,” NBA Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass said in a statement.
“Our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved, and we are working with public health experts and government officials on a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that appropriate medical protocols and protections are in place.”
The NBA was forced into cancellation amid the COVID-19 outbreak, specifically after Utah Jazz player, Rudy Gobert, contracted coronavirus and exposed several other plays to the disease, including teammate Donavan Mitchell.
Since then, several former and current NBA players have tested positive for COVID-19, the most recent being basketball great Patrick Ewing.
“This virus is serious and should not be taken lightly,” Ewing said upon announcing his health diagnosis over the weekend. “I want to encourage everyone to stay safe and take care of yourselves and your loved ones.”
The NBA is uniting to support Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns, after his team has announced that his mother Jacqueline Towns has died from complications from COVID-19. She had battled the disease for a month before passing away on Monday (April 13).
"Jackie was many things to many people - a wife, mother, daughter, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend," said a Towns family spokesperson in a statement released by the Timberwolves. "The matriarch of the Towns family, she was an incredible source of strength; a fiery, caring, and extremely loving person, who touched everyone she met. Her passion was palpable and her energy will never be replaced."
Towns' father, Karl Sr., also contracted COVID-19, but he has recovered from the disease.
On March 24, Towns released a video in which he revealed that his mother was placed into a medically-induced coma, and encouraged fans and viewers to take the coronavirus seriously.
Multiple players from the NBA, along with commentators and other members of the basketball community, have sent their condolences to Towns and his family.
Man... thoughts and prayers with you and the entire family @KarlTowns 🙏🏾
— Chris Paul (@CP3) April 13, 2020
Wow... I hope everybody is taking this pandemic seriously... Continue to Pray for every family through this tough time, and hold your Loved ones Close🙏🏽❤️
— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) April 13, 2020
😢😢 damn man this hurts!! Sending love and prayers your way @KarlTowns ❤️ https://t.co/UyAz9UJdiL
— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) April 13, 2020
COVID-19 interrupted basketball fans from watching Giannis Antetokounmpo dominate the league, nor can we watch Zion Williamson fill in his role as an emerging superstar NBA player.
But don't fret, on Sunday April 12, NBA players Chris Paul, Trae Young, Zach LaVine and Mike Conley, former NBA stars Chauncey Billups and Paul Pierce, current WNBA star Allie Quigley and WNBA legend Tamika Catchings will go head-to-head in a NBA HORSE Challenge.
The four quarterfinal match-ups will air Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN, and the two semifinals plus the final will air Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.
The pairings for this Sunday's first-ever NBA HORSE Challenge on ESPN have been revealed 🏀
-Trae Young vs. Chauncey Billups -Tamika Catchings vs. Mike Conley Jr. -Zach LaVine vs. Paul Pierce -Chris Paul vs. Allie Quigley
— ESPN (@espn) April 9, 2020
Paul, Young, LaVine and Conley are all active players who have performed at an All-Star level in recent years.
Seasoned point guard Chris Paul is the most accomplished among this group. The former Wake Forest Demon Deacon is a ten-time All Star, he has 9 NBA All-Defensive Team selections and four assist titles.
Young is only in his second NBA season as a member of the Atlanta Hawks, but he's definitely on verge of becoming a star with numbers like 29.6 points and 9.3 assists per game. And he was named an All-Star starter this season.
ABSOLUTELY NO DUNKING🤨😅🤣 @ZachLaVine
— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) April 8, 2020
I miss hoopin...🏀❤️❄️ pic.twitter.com/hsMdYzw9CY
— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) April 7, 2020
Historic career-highs (like @ZachLaVine's 49 with 13 triples) & so much more... during the NBA hiatus, watch a free preview of NBA League Pass >> https://t.co/OwfRijlR6D pic.twitter.com/ny4dY004NH
— NBA (@NBA) March 25, 2020
LaVine was robbed of the NBA All Star game this year. The Chi-City Bulls guard put up 25.5 points, 4 assists and nearly five boards this season.
The highly respectable Conley is in his first season with the Utah Jazz after spending the first 12 years of his NBA career with the Memphis Grizzlies. However, he's never been named an All-Star, but he's coming off a career high average of 21 points per game.
The veteran Billups spent 17 seasons in the NBA, with the Denver Nuggets and Detroit Pistons. The five-time All-Star boasts one NBA championship and one NBA Finals MVP. His deadly clutch game has earned him the nickname, Mr. Big Shot.
The 42-year-old Pierce played 19 seasons in the league, 15 with the Boston Celtics, and runs with the Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Clippers. The veteran wing man boasts ten All-Star selections, one NBA championship and one NBA Finals MVP.
Catchings ranks as one of WNBA's all-time greats with ten All-Star bids, one WNBA league MVP, and one championship. And she's a Basketball Hall of Famer.
Quigley is a guard for the Chicago Sky who has been named an All-Star three times and the WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year twice. She also won the WNBA Three-Point Shootout twice, which makes her a major threat in the competition.
Who do you think will walk away with the W?