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How the NBA is filling the hiatus gap

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Lakers Gaming small forward Kevin (Kev) Alvarado, 20, plays against Knicks Gaming at the NBA 2K League Studio in Long Island City, NY on Wednesday, June 5, 2019. Lakers Gaming lost their first game to Knicks Gaming 57-66, but won their second game against the Hawks Talon GC 54-48. (Nikki Boliaux/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

The COVID-19 pandemic has made a major impact on sports, especially the NBA. March 11 saw NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s decision to postpone the season for a minimum of 30 days. With the playoffs originally set to begin on April 18 and new rumors sprouting each day, there’s no telling as to whether fans will see any calendar games continue.

Players and associates of the NBA have been able to still interact with fans during the hiatus. The NBA confirmed April 9 that there will be a HORSE tournament on April 12 at 7 p.m. (quarterfinals) and April 16 at 9 p.m. (semifinals, finals), televised on ESPN and the ESPN app. The tournament is a mix of current and former NBA and WNBA players such as Chauncey Billups, Tamika Catchings, Zach LaVine, and plenty more. 

Many players dove into live-streaming while playing video games, which sprouted the first-ever NBA 2k Players Tournament. Phoenix Suns All-Star Devin Booker won the tournament against teammate, Deandre Ayton, on April 10. 

Fans are also able to watch previous historical games, post-season runs, and regular-season games on television and streaming services at no cost.

Possibilities of the playoffs being hosted inside private courts in Las Vegas, the season and playoffs being completely canceled, and confirmation of all players who originally tested positive for the virus being cleared of all symptoms has fans grasping at any glimmer of hope of a return.