Drafting Sports, Aug 1 (EFE) .- From the hard blow that sport received in March as a result of the advance in America of the new coronavirus, the ‘new normal’ seemed to prevail in July with the timid return of soccer to Mexico and Paraguay, and ‘ mini-seasons’ to revive baseball, basketball and the NHL.
But not all was good news for the organizers of the most popular, profitable and media leagues since, at least in the United States, almost a hundred athletes chose to give up the season for having contracted COVID-19, fear of catching the high competition or put their families at risk.
In the NBA, clubs like the Lakers, Wizards, Blazers, Nets and Mavericks have had to look for alternatives to cover sensible losses in their squads.
Escort Avery Bradley resigned over respiratory problems affecting one of his sons and forced the Los Angeles franchise to search for JR Smith, a personal friend of LeBron James.
Latvian power forward Davis Bertans will deprive the Wizards of their average of 15 points per game, while the Blazers will have to make a living without champion Trevor Ariza.
More decimated seem to have been the Nets, who will not be able to count on Spencer Dinwiddie and DeAndre Jordan, who tested positive for coronavirus in tests in June and July. As if that were not enough, Wilson Chandler has preferred to stay at home, fed up with a course in which he has already been suspended for 25 games for violating the banned substances program.
The Mavericks will miss Willie Cauley-Stein, who considered it risky to enter the ‘Bubble’ in Orlando at a time when his expected partner is pregnant.
Here’s a test that kicked off the MLB, NBA, NHL, and boxing at the start of the second half of this year.
.one. BIG LEAGUES, OR THE AMERICAN DREAM THAT CAN END BAD
The MLB was shaping up in the seventh month of the year as the League that would restore confidence to the United States by being the first in the return to action.
Paradoxical because in June baseball seemed definitively ostracized in 2020 due to the abyss that separated the organizers with the players’ union due to the substantial readjustment raised by the former to the contracts before the losses that the show already accumulates.
White smoke came with the resumption of training on July 1, the structuring of a regular season of 60 games plus ‘playoffs’ and the designation of July 24 as the start.
But within four days of the expected date, the plans seemed doomed to failure as at least 17 COVID-19 positives were registered in the ranks of the Miami Marlins, a story that has the Philadelphia Phillies, their rival, in suspense. weekend in a preparation series and has unleashed a wave of suspended games.
While the latest clinical results arrive to the teams, the sector of specialists and supporters grows to definitively suspend the course.
.two. NBA OR THE NEW WORLD OF DISNEY
The NBA, which suspended its championship on March 11 due to an unidentified Utah Jazz player testing positive for coronavirus, chose to focus the resumption of the 2019-2020 season on a ‘Bubble’ campus Walt Disney World Resort, in Orlando.
The chosen D-Day was July 30 and the League estimates that the images of the matches and interviews of the campaign without antecedents will reach 47 countries in 47 languages.
A master move by delegate Adam Silver to prevent the definitive cancellation of the course and thus prevent the NBA from suffering losses of almost 2,000 million dollars in a competition that generates around 8,000 million annually.
Each of the 22 teams involved will play 8 games until August 14. If a ‘play-in’ was necessary to determine the eighth classified to the final league in any of the conferences, it would be defined between August 15 and 16.
The qualification phase will bring together 89 players from 34 countries.
The first round of the playoffs will begin on August 17 and by then at least a close duel is expected between two giants, LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The 2.11-meter Greek forward is the standard-bearer for the interests of the Milwaukee Bucks, the franchise with the best balance in the League with 53 wins and only 12 losses and emerging as the first candidate in the Eastern Conference.
Antetokounmpo averages nearly 30 points, more than 13 rebounds and 6 assists, but he won’t have it easy against a James motivated to demonstrate that, at 35, he is still ‘the King’ and can give the Los Angeles Lakers their first ring in 10 years, and in passing add the quarter of his personal harvest with three teams.
The American forward, 2.06 meters and ten years older than the Greek, keeps his aspiration to be MVP intact despite his averages of 25.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 10.6 assists.
.3. HOCKEY ON ICE CHOOSES TWO ‘BUBBLES’
The NHL has also innovated in its extraordinary format for dribbling the coronavirus.
He chose this August 1 to resume competition in two Canadian venues, those in Toronto and Edmonton, where the teams have been concentrated since the end of July, considering that in the United States there were no full guarantees to shield themselves from the coronavirus.
.4. TYSON, 5,572 DAYS LATER
Fifteen years, three months and a day after his last professional fight, which he lost to a corner stop (RTD) to Kevin McBride, Mike Tyson will return to get in a ‘ring’ to fight in an exhibition evening with an ex-boxer with pretensions rapper who has already tried himself as an actor, Roy Jones Jr.
Beyond the 5,572 days elapsed between June 11, 2005 in Washington and the expected September 12, 2020 in Carson, it is surprising that the event is starred by a figure who instilled terror in his rivals between 1986 and 1990, and June turned 54 years old.
His opponent is just three years younger but his boxing career is second to none.
Michael Gerard Tyson became the youngest world champion among the heavyweights by defeating Trevor Berbick by knockout in the second round on November 22, 1986, when he was 20 years and four months old.
The legend began to fade on February 11, 1990 in a Tokyo bout that appeared to be the carbon copy of the previous 37 that ended with Tyson’s crushing wins.
The almost unknown James ‘Buster’ Douglas, who had resisted falling knocked out, surprised the champion in the tenth round and left him on the canvas. The fact is not less: it was one of the biggest surprises in boxing in the 20th century.
(c) EFE Agency