Palawan, the Los Angeles Lakers are dominating the 2020 National Basketball Association (NBA) bubble finals in Orlando. Currently leading the Miami Heat 3-1 with a game 4 102-96 on October 6, the Lakers will surely pull all stops to win it all on game 5 scheduled on Friday October 9 (October 10 MNL time).
With them being one win away from the crown, Lebron James is but 1 game away from building his resume as the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All-Time). If the Lakers win it all this season, Lebron would win an NBA championship on each team that he played for in his career (the first 3 came from his stints with the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers).
Michael Jordan, and perhaps Kobe Bryant, comparisons will definitely start churning again when Lebron lifts the championship trophy. There’s no denying that he would be up there in the GOAT discussions and the argument will continue until perhaps he ties Michael Jordan with 6 championship rings in his career. But does the King really need 6 rings to bump Jordan off the top?
At 35-years-old, Lebron hasn’t shown signs of slowing down. You can still see him taking the ball strong to the rim with hardly anyone capable of stopping him in this playoff round. He wills his way to score and has become a better facilitator with the right mix of teammates. The Lakers did a good job of getting the rights to Anthony Davis and surrounding the duo with defenders and 3 point shooters that can maximize their talents. The depth that the Lakers have also didn’t put too much strain on Bron’s shoulders allowing him to preserve himself in the stretch.
This offseason, even if the Lakers win ‘em all, I expect them to add more key ingredients to increase their chances of a back to back or even a threepeat. I expect AD to get a contract extension and the Lakers possibly locking up a long-term contract on a key free agent over the summer. Rumors are spreading that Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards could be a potential signee over the summer. If this materializes, we are talking about a solid 3 in Hollywood.
Should we write off the Heat in this season’s grand finale? It would take a miracle for the Lakers to lose 3 straight against a team that many consider being a surprise finalist. The Heat, as much as they have overachieved this season, is simply too young for the veteran Lakers team. I do, however, continue to expect Coach Erik Spoelstra to continue dominating the eastern conference in the years to come. It won’t hurt should the Heat try to lure a major marquee player in the offseason.
The 2021 NBA Season
With the 2019 – 2020 NBA season wrapping up over the next week or so, what should we expect from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver for next season? It is logical to say February 2021 would be a good date to start anew. Allowing November to December as an offseason, with the rookie draft and free agency negotiations happening in November, would buy the NBA time to strategize how to launch their next campaign.
There are a lot of possible scenarios that the NBA can play around with. Apply division or conference bubble setups or even opening venues to fans. The latter is of course dependent on how the country contains the pandemic spread.
Will next season signal a comeback of fans in stands? With a looming breakthrough of a vaccine for COVID19 come year-end, it would be possible that the United States may have vaccinated the infected and the most vulnerable come January or February. This would mean that professional sports in general, including the NBA, may start entertaining the thought of opening their venues and stadiums to at least half capacity and scale it up gradually as the year progresses.
As more and more get vaccinated, it is highly probable that the 2021-2022 NBA season can come back in full scale. If this glide path holds true, we are talking about pre-pandemic business as usual by quarter 4 of 2021. There is hope.
While waiting for the medical breakthrough let’s make sure to do our responsibility and share: wear a mask, wear a shield, sanitize hands frequently, work from home, and if you really have to go outside, make sure to practice proper social distancing. Together, we can look forward to a new normal way of life.
Customer Service Appreciation
Let’s take a moment to reflect on my other career as a business process outsourcing executive for Conduit Global Philippines. I would like to thank all frontliners in the field of service for their hard work and resiliency during this tough year. Most of us had to go through challenges, both personal and at work. We even rose above and beyond by braving the tremors of the Taal volcano eruption and the pandemic this year. We are all heroes in our own right. Heroes to our family that we provide for, to the economy that we contribute to, and to our customers who remain to be the focal point and lifeline of our business.
We make it a point to put our heart in what we do and that sets us a cut above the rest. To all BPO employees who brave the rains and work predominantly in the night shift, thank you for your sacrifice and more power to us all!
(The writer is a senior leader in the Business Process Outsourcing industry managing Philippine countryside operations)