Through the Pandemic, Basketball Shows its Value

Sports enrich lives and inspire camaraderie. Without it, people have felt stuck.

 There I was, nine years old and completely enamored by LeBron James. He was the first basketball player I ever watched, and the game featured the Orlando Magic and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals. Specifically, game two of a series, upon which I can now look back on with fond memories. LeBron hit a game-winner over Hedo Turkoglu. That is when I fell in love with basketball. Now we are in a pandemic, and the sport is on hold.I know journalists don’t usually put themselves in the story. Yet, for this one, it’s imperative that I do.

There hasn’t been basketball in two months, and frankly, I’m missing it. I miss the drama, the passion, and all of the back and forth action.

I miss it all.

I’m not the only one; NBA stars and college stars alike have constantly tweeted about missing the game they love during this pandemic.

Sports, basketball specifically, provide an emotional outlet for all of those involved. The athletic feats leave fans in awe of what the human body is capable of, while also providing an escape.

The hardwood, for the players, is their canvas, where nightly they get to paint a masterpiece full of self-expression. Per usual, adoration always follows.

Without sports, all we can do is think. It has caused some to argue that sports aren’t needed. Check out this interesting take here. Though the writer was trying to offer a new perspective, he was wrong. As humans, we need sports, and we need basketball now more than ever.

Without it, there is nothing at which we can marvel. There is no rush, no thrill, no excitement.

The basketball players? They’re left with a no canvas, and no work of art to paint.

Furthermore, what is art if there is no admirer?

We miss basketball.

The pandemic has paused NBA games for over two months now. There’s been a bevy of plans to reinstate the NBA and other professional basketball leagues. . All of these plans do not involve fans. Given the circumstances, that is understandable. It wouldn’t exactly be smart to have 20 thousand people packed into one arena. However, it leaves us all wondering, what will the new normal for basketball look like?

Where will be the admirer to the artist?

The NBA Playoffs carry the probability of looking like YMCA pick-up sessions, except with the likes of the best players in the world. For basketball purists, this won’t be ideal. But it will still be basketball.

This phenomenon has a chance of trickling down to the collegiate ranks. With college basketball still half a year away, and with the threat of a second wave of COVID-19, I’m sure all possible protective measures will be taken. But again, what is art with no admirer?

Will Duke still be the same Duke without Cameron Indoor rocking as it did on Saturdays? Is Michigan State going to be the same Michigan State if it’s not a madhouse in East Lansing? Will the Dayton Flyers still be the Dayton Flyers without their sell-out home record still in effect?

In short, yes, because basketball is still basketball. And some basketball will always beat no basketball.

And the admirer, for the artists, will still be there; they will just be at home. If that’s the only way basketball fans can enjoy the sport for a while, I’ll be ok with that. At least it will be back.

We may still have more questions than answers, but one thing is still certain. Basketball, we all miss you.