DALLAS (105.3 THE FAN) - "This is a dynamic business,'' Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle says. "But we're very much in this is uncharted territory. And this is a different kind of time.''
"This time'' is of course about COVID-19, and Carlisle's world view - while certainly extending well beyond basketball - takes us to a place of wisdom as he believes the NBA's ground-floor involvement in the coronavirus was "a blessing in disguise.
"In some ways, maybe it's the best thing that could've happened to us as a league (and) as a country,'' Carlisle tells 105.3 The Fan's "Shan & RJ,'' meaning the high-profile manner in which Utah's Rudy Gobert's contraction of COVID-19 became public, on the same night the Denver-at-Dallas game was on national TV. "Things got very real very quickly. ... That night, (NBA commissioner) Adam Silver took the lead and suspended our season indefinitely. play ... Had we continued to play another game or two, the way this thing ended up, the world could be pointed in a different place right now.
"So, some things maybe turn out to be a blessing.''
The NBA’s coronavirus suspension is now entering its second month. There is talk of the league currently preparing a 25-day “back-to-basketball plan,” but at the same time, Carlisle notes that Silver says "No decisions will be made until at least May.''
It’s not yet clear whether a re-started 2019-20 NBA season might pick up with the completion of the regular season or jump straight into a playoff format - and what that format might be.
"If and when we continue, the start-up will be a challenge, too,'' Carlisle says. "I think we all just gotta try to keep our eye on the ball and understand the big picture for what's best for the world, the country, society. And sports will take care of itself.''