Just over a week removed from the suspension of the NBA season, NBA on ESPN’s The Jump returned to the airwaves on Thursday to tackle topics that are currently facing the league as it relates to the COVID-19 outbreak and how it is best to proceed or not.
On Thursday’s episode, Paul Pierce joined Rachel Nichols and Matt Barnes to discuss just how the NBA should be looking at the coming weeks and months.
The Truth admitted that he wasn’t taking COVID-19 nearly seriously enough until Rudy Gobert tested positive and the league put the season on hold to limit exposure to the deadly disease to other players, staff members, stadium personnel and of course fans. But now, Paul sees just how serious this issue is.
“You don’t just cancel NBA, MLB and all these sports leagues if it’s not serious,” he said. “Before the NBA cancelled, I took it with a grain of salt. It was like ‘ok, the coronavirus, it’s serious, but not that bad.’ But when the NBA was like “Oh we’re going to [suspend] the season, that’s when I took a step back and I was like ‘Oh this is for real.'”
Later in the episode, Paul, Nichols and Barnes discussed the idea going around that once the curve is flattened, the NBA could run some sort of charity game. Paul believes that if done right this is a good idea that could create a blueprint for the NBA to return if all goes well.
“We’re all trying to find ways to whet our appetite for the game of basketball,” he said. “If you were able to pull off a charity game, this could possibly be a blueprint of bringing the NBA back. So I’m for it if there is a possible way to get a charity game going.”
Watch the whole segment below:
Finally, The Truth, Barnes and Nichols mused on what a return to NBA Basketball would look like whenever that happens, including whether or not players could jump right into postseason games after a long layoff that is expected to go for at least a month if not significantly longer.
“I think you’re going to need a 30-day period,” Paul said. “You can’t just jump into playoff basketball. You can’t say we’ve been off 30, 45 days, however long it’s going to be, and say ‘play at your highest potential right now.’ You want the best of the best playing their best.”
Watch that whole segment below: