All signs indicate that the NBA wants to finish the season at some point, whenever that might be, which is exactly the kind of positive Los Angeles Lakers news that fans need right now.
The most positive Los Angeles Lakers news that fans could receive right now is that the NBA has circled dates to return to action and the Lakers can return on their path to the NBA Finals. Of course, the health and safety of the entire world comes first, but it would be nice to have some basketball to distract our minds a bit.
Across all of the major four sports leagues, there have been different ideas that have been floated around. This includes MLB potentially playing until December and playing playoff games in dome stadiums and neutral sites in California; the NFL airing one round per night of the 2020 NFL Draft; and potentially the NBA returning to one host city to resume play.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst wrote an excellent piece about how the league is looking to learn from how the China Basketball Association is conducting business. This has created the potential idea for the league to return under one city, preferably under one roof. No traveling. No crows. Just essentially personnel and some sort of method to broadcast the games.
More from LA Sports Hub
- Lakers: 5 Players to Target Through Trades to make another championship run
- LA Chargers: Week 8 against Denver Broncos is a must-win
- LA Rams: Jared Goff wants to keep the Los Angeles title streak going
- Lakers Rumors: Los Angeles Clippers interested in Rajon Rondo
- LA Chargers: Justin Herbert wins AFC Rookie of the Month
Windhorst claims that the idea of holding it at a Las Vegas casino property has bene floated, which is possible with the likes of the T-Mobile Arena and the MGM Garden Arena, amongst others. Other possibilities, according to Windhorst, is converting ballrooms in the Bahamas or playing at a college town in the midwest.
I like to call myself a bit of a Las Vegas expert for someone who lives closer to Los Angeles than Las Vegas. My father is in the trade show industry and I have been to Las Vegas more times than I could count to earn some extra cash and help him set up exhibits for various companies for various tradeshows.
That is why when I heard this proposal the first thing I thought of what not the T-Mobile Arena or the MGM Garden Arena, it was the convention centers. The T-Mobile Arena and MGM Garden Arena are both great venues, but the league would be kind of limiting itself in how often it could host games.
That is where the convention centers come in play, and where I developed my proposal. Hopefully, someone high up in the NBA reads this.
Why not take advantage of the current half in the trade show industry and convert the Mandalay Bay Convention Center into space with 8-10 full-size courts? There certainly is enough space to not just set up these courts, but set up the proper camera equipment as well as portable walls in between the courts for aesthetic effect.
The league has already used the convention center before for the G League showcase. It is not that it can be done, it has been done.
Right down the hall from the Mandalay Bay Convention Center is the Mandalay Bay Events Center, which is where the Las Vegas Aces play. The “marquee” games can be held here, with the potential of this hosting the NBA Finals.
There are two options for where the players and staff could stay. They could either occupy a certain number of floors at the Mandalay Bay or the Delano or could stay at The Signature at MGM Grand.
The Signature is not connected to the convention center but is a short drive away and offers suites with full kitchens. It is much more of an apartment than a hotel room, which would be nice for the players.
There, of course, are some logistical things. Finding enough drivers to get everyone to and from places, feeding the players, the rules on whether or not the players’ families are allowed. But if the league absolutely wants to resume play at a neutral size, Las Vegas is probably the best bet.
It is a bit of a dire outlook — the NBA playing its flagship games in an empty 12,000-seat arena that is typically used for the Summer League. However, some sports is better than no sports and hopefully could be the start of some positive Lakers news.
For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website or the website for your state’s Department of Health.