We owe the National Basketball Association an apology
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Amongst other qualifiers, a real man should be able to admit when he’s wrong. So here it is: You got me. Three months ago, as the NBA prepared to resume a season that came to a sudden halt due to the coronavirus pandemic, I called bullshit on the league’s suits for what seemed like a travesty in the making. I assumed Adam Silver was putting financial gain ahead of the welfare of the players. Yet here we are, just after the completion of an NBA season that went off without becoming a Covid-19 hotspot. I had it all twisted: The NBA bubble wasn’t “flagrantly foul”; it was a model for how to keep an insulated community infection-free during a pandemic.
The NBA bubble brought a semblance of normalcy this year, even as the seams of our society were damn-near torn apart due to an airborne virus and seemingly inescapable racism. We watched Dame Time put some respect on his damn name, the Clippers get meme’d to smithereens, Jimmy Butler become a legend, Jamal Murray and Donovan Mitchell in a showdown for the ages, and most importantly, LeBron nab his fourth career NBA Finals championship. Players made history off the court, too, with a work stoppage in response to Jacob Blake’s shooting that perhaps didn’t go as far as some of us would’ve liked, but marked a historic moment in sports, nonetheless. (Professional soccer, baseball, and women’s basketball players also went on strike.)
But that’s not to say there weren’t hiccups and safety violations. Like, that one time the Clippers’ Lou Williams left the bubble to attend a funeral — but made a quick stop at Atlanta institution Magic City on the way back. We hope the chicken wing order was worth the lengthy quarantine he landed himself in upon returning to the bubble. [Eds. note: The wings indeed are that good.] Then there was Danuel House of the Houston Rockets, who broke…