The Post Up: NBA suffers through hardships


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Kobe Byrant at a Lakers vs. Wizards game on Dec. 3 2014. Earlier this year Byrant was tragically killed in a plane crash along with his daughter Gianna.

Jonny Ratner, Photo Editor

As a die-hard NBA fan, 2020 has been a tough year for me and every other NBA fan across the globe. 

After the devastating loss of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter due to a helicopter crash, NBA fans and people in general who were in any way affected by Bryant were left in shock and despair. This was enough of a catastrophe to affect the rest of the year and the lives of some. As a fan of basketball, I grew up knowing that Kobe Bryant was a legend and a household name anywhere I went and the impact he had during his 41 years of life went far beyond the basketball court. 

Every kid wanted to be like Kobe. Watching him play the game was unlike anything else. He had this special way of playing that caught the eyes of every fan. He made these unbelievable shots over and around defenders that added a certain beauty to his game. As a Celtics fan, it was ingrained in my brain to hate Kobe Bryant and the Lakers and to always root against them. But I always had a layer of respect for Kobe and the greatness he brought to the floor. 

The NBA community was also shocked and saddened after David Stern, former NBA commissioner from 1984-2014, passed away due to complications from a brain hemorrhage. Stern was widely known as a fantastic commissioner and was truly admired by players and coaches throughout the league. But the downhill spiral didn’t end there.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic infecting Jazz Center Rudy Gobert, the NBA decided to suspend all games until further notice on March 12, which also happened to be my birthday (woo for me). They chose to suspend the league as soon as the first player was confirmed to have the virus. Since Gobert was diagnosed, nine other players, including his Jazz teammate Donavan Mitchell have also come down with the virus. Five members of various organizations were also diagnosed. Among those, Nets star forward Kevin Durant and Knicks owner James Dolan have tested positive. Even though most have reportedly fully recovered, this is something that will go down in NBA history as, to say the least, one of the strangest times in recent memory.

 To understand more about what NBA players are doing during their quarantine, I reached out to about 120 current players via direct message on Instagram and was trying to see if any of them could answer a couple of questions about their experiences. Nobody answered :(. But that’s okay, because it probably means they are spending quality time with their families, something they don’t get to do very often during a normal season. During this time, I think NBA fans should re-watch notable games in NBA history, spark discussions and debates to keep the conversation going, and really realize what sports mean to the world and how they effectively bring us together. Even though this may be a tough time for all of us, especially NBA fans, don’t forget the meaning of sports and use this time to reflect on past moments in sports history, to help bring you back to simpler times.