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The weirdest season in NBA history

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Where do fans go from here?

Milwaukee Bucks v Denver Nuggets Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

Sitting in my living room last night, taking in the entire ESPN broadcast and all of the news from social media, it was extremely overwhelming. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN and Shams Charania of The Athletic were seemingly having a competition for which insider could share the bad news first, and all the while, the Denver Nuggets played a basketball game.

It was an underwhelming game. An underwhelming fourth quarter especially. Clearly, Denver didn’t have a lot of energy left after hearing the news. The NBA season was to be suspended following that night’s games due to the outbreak of COVID-19, AKA coronavirus. Nobody really knew how to feel about the situation, other than a general sense of shock.

What I took away from the experience: this league suspension was the ultimate topper of the weirdest season in NBA history.

Now, as a 23-year-old, that may be considered a bold proclamation, but can any season truly compete with the stretch of events the 2019-20 season has seen? In the last nine months:

  • Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson sustain 2019-20 season-ending injuries during the 2019 NBA Finals
  • The Golden State Warriors move from the best NBA team to the worst as Durant joins Kyrie Irving in moving to the Brooklyn Nets, Andre Iguodala is traded, and Stephen Curry sustains a major finger injury
  • The Los Angeles Lakers trade for Anthony Davis to join LeBron James
  • Kawhi Leonard, NBA Finals MVP for the Toronto Raptors, and Paul George, finishing the first year of his four-year deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder, join forces with the Los Angeles Clippers
  • The Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder exchange star point guards Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook
  • Andre Iguodala refuses to play for the Memphis Grizzlies
  • Rockets GM Daryl Morey sends a tweet supporting protests in China, leading to international relations spiraling between the NBA and China
  • Former NBA commissioner David Stern passes away
  • Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna pass away in a tragic accident while games are played
  • Two NBA players—Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell—test positive for coronavirus, multiple games are postponed
  • The NBA suspends its season indefinitely

That list has me reeling.

Denver Nuggets v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

For the Nuggets specifically, this was one of the most bizarre seasons in recent memory. With the burden of expectations hanging over every action, the games became less enjoyable and more workmanlike. A Nuggets team that had surpassed every expectation before it had found a superstar in Nikola Jokic, a potential All-Star in Jamal Murray, and a complete wildcard in Michael Porter Jr., with only the final couple of steps to complete before becoming a full-fledged contender. As Denver struggled to navigate that path, fans grew frustrated. Now that COVID-19 is firmly in the picture, I’m sure most fans are reevaluating whether such frustration is warranted.

In my first season covering the NBA and managing this website, I never expected things to become so crazy. When Adam Mares first came to me and said he was recommending me to run Denver Stiffs in his stead, the most difficult thing I thought I would deal with this year would be managing our content schedule. Imagine my surprise when that became the least of my worries.

Denver Stiffs will always be basketball first website, but in times like these, it’s important to come together over more than just the game itself. Lives are at stake here, and safety is of paramount importance. Basketball can wait. We understand that.

So in the meantime as we try and process what’s happening together, wash your hands and take other necessary precautions. If everyone works toward the same goal, it’s very possible that we could see basketball played again in the near future. Don’t take unnecessary risks either. There are more lives at stake than ever on the common sense of every person.

If all goes well, maybe we can get back to this game we all love at some point soon, continuing the weirdest season in NBA history.