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Volume 26 No. 176
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Podcasts Hosts Debate Whether NBA, NFL Would Return First

While all sports leagues are looking to return to live game action when it is deemed safe to do so, The Ringer's Bill Simmons said he has the “most confidence in the brain trust” associated with the NBA, including Commissioner Adam Silver and team owners. Simmons said, “Maybe I should trust the NFL the most because those guys are ruthless and they’ll probably figure out the most ruthless way to do this.” The Ringer’s Ryen Russillo said, “The initial reaction is the NBA’s probably the most adaptable. I think they’re the most open-minded of any of the leagues. I don’t even think that’s debatable. But if we’re talking strictly who will get product on the television sets, the NFL is such a heavy favorite Vegas is taking it off the board.” Simmons: “They’ll just tell their players what to do. The NBA -- the players will have a relationship to the decision.” Russillo: “I feel like you’re underestimating … the number of NFL players that will say, ‘Even if there’s a little grey area, a little uncertainty, if things are coming around and we feel better about this but there’s still a level of danger, we don’t care. We’re risking concussions out there’” (“The Bill Simmons Podcast,” The Ringer, 4/5).

TOO MANY ISSUES TO OVERCOME? In Houston, Jonathan Feigen notes the idea of a “cloistered NBA salvaging a season in one location with no fans on site is one of many that could be considered.” However, the idea of “creating an NBA ‘bubble,’ similar to the Major League Baseball discussion about playing an entire season in one central location without fans, would pose enormous challenges.” Infectious disease specialist Dr. Richard Harris: “It sounds insurmountable to me. I assume this is before we get vaccinations. Before we get vaccinations, I’m not sure any of this is perfectly safe. … All it takes is a couple people, and this can start up all over again.” He added, “I just can’t see how you can do this safely. You’d be playing Russian roulette with this if you think you can do this absolutely safely” (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 4/8).

FACE OF THE MOMENT: ESPN Radio’s Mike Golic Jr. noted Silver is “out in front of a camera … whenever we hear news about what’s going on in the NBA.” Golic: “Adam is a face for all this stuff. When we heard about the conference call with the President of the United States, it was Adam Silver speaking up on that call. It was him taking questions on Twitter the next day. Why is that not happening in other leagues?” (“Golic & Wingo,” ESPN Radio, 4/8).