Tip-off July 31st.

The NBA will have its first game on that date, more than 4 ½ months after the season was suspended after Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive for coronavirus on March 11.

Finally, basketball enthusiasts have something to look forward to on their TV.

Games will be played in Orlando with no fans in attendance.

It is a bizarre restart to the season with an outlandish 22-team format, but there is nothing to gain by being critical.

The fact the Board of Governors was able to finally agree on something that puts the players back on the court is really the only issue that matters.

While the basketball should be entertaining, a side note that may turn out to be intriguing is players will be tested daily for the coronavirus.

Should someone test positive the season will not be halted like before; instead, that player will be removed and treated individually.

If multiple players come down with the virus, there will be a bigger problem to deal with but that is the risk involved for all concerned.

Should you be wondering, if there’s an NBA Finals Game 7, it is scheduled for October 12 which is the day before the Canadian Thanksgiving.

No turkey jokes, please.

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MLB continues to have squabbles with the players and owners about how many games to play but eventually, one would believe the two sides will come to their senses and reach some kind of a compromise.

The owners want fewer games so they can lose less money.

The players want more games so they can make more money.

If the season gets scrapped, which is still hard to imagine, then there are no winners.

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There is still an “if” when it comes to the NHL and its planned 24-team playoff derby.

The league says after the best-of-five qualifying or play-in round, the other four rounds will be a best-of-seven meaning the entire playoff tournament could last a whopping 68 days.

Hockey fans continue to eagerly wait on a start date which has not been decided because there are more logistics to work out.

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On the junior front, the QMJHL has announced plans to begin its 2020-21 regular season on Oct. 1 with a full 68-game schedule.

League Commissioner Gilles Courteau says the Q expects to have “a certain percentage of spectators” attending games whatever that means.

Again, it is great to be optimistic but even the best-laid plans can quickly change depending on the state of the virus come the fall.


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The BCHL has appointed a Return-to-Play Task Force which is responsible for outlining several different scenarios on how and when the league can resume its schedule while working with the Provincial Health Authorities to develop a return to play guidelines and safety measures.

In other words, the BCHL wants everything in place once they are given the green light, but the mystery remains when that will be.

Meanwhile, the league has made several changes in anticipation for its 2020-21 season.

This is not the best time to be a junior hockey owner or for that matter a small-business owner.

“Survival of the fittest” may be a cliché but the slogan or catchphrase has never been more appropriate than the first half of the year 2020.

 

FROM THE QUOTE RACK

Reports indicate two horses trained by Bob Baffert tested positive for a banned substance in Arkansas last month. Well, at least horses can’t complain to the media it was a “tainted supplement.”

Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com

The bad news for Drew Brees is that he made a really dumb tweet. The good news for Drew is that there won’t be any fans around this season to boo him for it.

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

This year’s John Deere Classic, scheduled for July 9-12, has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. In lieu of a news release, the PGA Tour announced the breakup in a John Deere letter.

*Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times http://www.seattletimes.com/author/dwight-perry/

IN CASE, YOU MISSED IT:

Three things Brits like about the sport of miniature piglet racing:
3. Going sow for the winter;
2. Inside the pork homers;
1. Hogging the limelight.

*Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

 

Hartley Miller is the news and sports supervisor and morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97.
He also is the 94.3 the Goat radio colour commentator for P.G. Cougars home games.
His column appears Fridays on myprincegeorgenow.com.
Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to hmiller@thegoatrocks.ca