The NBA bubble is gone but it serves as a blueprint for collaboration

The final game may have fizzled but I don’t think it can take away at all from what the NBA managed to accomplish in the more than three months that preceded the Lakers winning the Larry O’Brien Trophy last night.

It was 172 games, hundreds and hundreds of people, thousands and thousands of coronavirus tests, some brilliant basketball, so sea-changing awareness of social injustice created, the funding of a rapid COVID-19 saliva test that will benefit the entire world and they did it without any major glitches at all.

It worked because there was near unanimous buy-in from players, coaches, staff members and franchises, it worked because there were well thought out protocols put n place, followed religiously and level of control exerted that was absolutely necessary.

And that can’t be under-stated. Having plans that were workable and enforced is why the NBA’s bubble worked so well, it’s why the NHL’s did, why the WNBA’s did, why the NWSL’s did once it got all its teams in one place.

None of his happens if you don’t do the work to put something in place that has a chance to work and then hammer home the rules daily, stay with the plan, never take a deep breath and think you’ve got it beaten.

It really was – on the basketball side because that’s what I know best and have followed most closely – an incredibly collaborative effort that should be applauded.

It came from outstanding leadership from the league and the players and should prove to people in charge of greater causes (hello, politicians of all stripes on both sides of the border) that planning, science, working together and staying a difficult course is worth it in the end and can work.

That’s vital, it’s why this worked and it’s why it should be held up as an example for others to follow.

We’ll get into what happens next later on today when I get my head around what might happen next but looking back, there really are reasons for those o us on the periphery of the sport should be proud of he men and women who lead it.

Now, the Lakers and LeBron,

Worthy champions, indeed and I don’t think there’s any denying that and I can’t imagine how anyone could have watched James play and not come away thankful for the opportunity.

No, he’s not perfect. A bit histrionic with officials – most NBAers are – and his “I want my damn respect, too” comment after the game was a bit off-putting but there is no denying his enduring greatness as a player.

I don’t core one lick where you might “rank” him among the all-time greats because that’s an unwinnable, subjective argument I don’t want to get into.

I want to sit back and appreciate what we’ve seen for more than a decade and a half and hope we get to see it for years to come.

Okay, longish day ahead with writing a thing that’s kind if what’s next with a bit of what happened for the NBA and a turkey to consume – Thanksgiving dinner got delayed a day thanks in part to Game 5 – and a bit of work getting ready to officially launch TEB next week.

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But after that, I think it might go quiet here for a bit. Maybe the usual three days a week and Sunday mail morning fare but other than that, I might shut things down for a while.

But the week’s will still include the mail and if if need ot reach out with something on your mind it’s easy to accomplish. Just e-mail askdoug@thestar.ca and we’ll putter around each day and wrap up your contributions next Sunday.

Checked the spice cupboard and there is indeed some Newfoundland savoury there so the stuffing for tonight’s turkey is going to rock.

One thing I’m going to do when I can is get caught up with the lads over at TFC because that’s one of the big under-told stories of the last little while around these parts.

All they’ve done is win five in a row, compiled the vest record in MLS, qualified for the playoffs already thanks to a win Sunday in Cincinnati and they really are laying waste to the league right now.

I think it’s been three straight 1-0 roads wins – that some kind of accomplishment in itself – and there’s no reason to think they’ll slow down any tine soon.

This is something of a dynastic franchise – they’ve played in three of the last four MLS Cups – and the tough part this year is that they’re relegated to playing  “home” games East Hartford, Conn., because of COVID-19 because it’d be rocking down at BMO if they could play here.

Three’s going be a big sports void coming around these parts the next little while and I’d suggest investing some time in the Reds, you might like it. And then.

TORONTO STAR

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