It's OK to be conflicted about basketball returning


This Star Wars clip was too easy.

It feels weird to celebrate basketball’s imminent return. In some ways, it feels weirder than ever. All we have to do is look at the rising COVID-19 numbers in Florida and elsewhere around the country.

And yet, we love this game and everything it entails. We want basketball back … but we wonder if we shouldn’t. (Speaking for myself: it’s a lot easier to write a pro basketball newsletter when I can write about new pro basketball).

That’s why we brought SB Nation Engagement Editor and all-around joy Whitney Medworth on this week’s Limited Upside podcast. If Whitney is conflicted about wanting the NBA and WNBA to return, then we all should be, too. I’ve never met anyone who derives so much love from basketball, yet is still able to maintain the necessary perspective that this is just a game.

We spent some time talking through our feelings, wondering if we deserve sports now, and imagining how we’ll react when the WNBA returns on July 24 and the NBA on July 30. (Note: this was recorded on Thursday, before the news that the NBA is closing on creating a second bubble for the eight remaining teams).

We also give long overdue props to Maya Moore, the WNBA superstar who abruptly left the game two years ago to devote her time to overturning wrongful convictions in our judicial system. Earlier this week, Moore watched as Jonathan Irons, a man who spent 22 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit, was finally released from prison.

ESPN’s Katie Barnes has a must-read piece for anyone who wants to learn more about Moore’s extraordinary sacrifice.