Way to Go-bert

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The world seems to be slowing its orbit—it feels like everything is coming to a screeching halt. However, unless you yourself stopped along with the turning of the planet as well due to the coronavirus hysteria, the feeling of a massive paradox is relevant. The mass-halt has been contrasted with frenzied supermarket chaos, raising both the amount of fear and frustration in the general public.

The long lines at the checkout, the shortage of disinfecting supplies, and of course the empty toilet paper shelves have all heightened the American public’s tension. But perhaps the biggest eyebrow-raising, face-slapping, teeth-clinching factor has been the postponement of the NBA season.

The NBA season is postponed? Maybe the world has stopped turning.

Kings fans, you know darn good and well what that feeling is. Minutes away from tip off, the Pelicans-Kings game was postponed. Of course it was the one nationally televised game for Sacramento, and of course it was one of the biggest games of the year so far, and of course this would happen to us, of all teams.

It all started with Rudy Gobert and waiting for the results of his COVID-19 test. Then everything rippled outward, wide and far. And yet, everything seemed to be under control, even in the midst of a handful of tense hours for owners and league officials to make some major decisions regarding the novel coronavirus.

It was a tough call to make, but the season is postponed, and of course, the call “should not [have been] a business decision,” as commissioner Adam Silver put it, and it wasn’t. This is bigger than basketball. It is bigger than stadium revenue and ratings.

The thing is, this is a moment to stop. Although we all want to watch some basketball, especially as the season begins to wind down to some of its most exciting moments, particularly for Kings fans, we need a moment to stop and reflect.

In fact, we are seeing some of the awe-inspiring greatness that the NBA can provide excluding slam dunks, late game threes, and intense rivalries.

A big source of anxiety for many Americans in this time is the status of their paycheck. We have all heard it a lot lately: if I don’t work, I don’t get paid. Owners will be okay for a couple weeks without people buying tickets and expensive beers. Concession stand workers, on the other hand? That is a tough pill to swallow, and they may not even be able to afford the pill.

The Lakers, Clippers, and Los Angeles Kings have all been working together to pay concession stand workers at The Staples Center. Zion Williamson pledged to pay the salaries of those employed at the Smoothie King Center for the next 30 days. Kevin Love is giving $100,000 to help pay employees at the Rocket Mortgage Field House.

The point is: we must turn our passion for basketball into compassion for one another.

Let’s take a few weeks to be smart, focus on our wellbeing and health, and do our best to not panic. Don’t think about it as having to wait for basketball. Basketball is waiting for us.

Be safe.

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