It’s been a tough year for everyone. There’s no denying that. For the NBA world, things have been particularly strange. The early part of the year saw the death of beloved icon Kobe Bryant, which sent fans, the media, and former teammates and colleagues around the league into a collective period of mourning that scarcely lasted until the next tragedy struck.
In March, the NBA was the canary in the coal mine for the newly-arrived COVID-19 virus that was just beginning to take hold, and once the league shut down, it signaled to the rest of the country that it was time start taking things seriously. What followed was months of isolation, ugly partisan division, a rash of police shootings and civil unrest, and too many other things to catalog here.
But as we barreled toward the end of a tumultuous year, things finally started to look up. A presidential election proved that America still holds some of its values sacred, sports returned in modest ways, and we finally started to see the light at the end of the tunnel as the COVID vaccine made its way into circulation.
Still, we can all be forgiven for harboring some negative feelings toward the past year, and the Toronto Raptors summed those feelings up perfectly on New Year’s Eve when they bid 2020 adieu in the best way possible.
Dear 2020… pic.twitter.com/3L6hxlLGz1
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) January 1, 2021
The Raptors and the rest of the league still have plenty of ground to make up before things get back to normal, or whatever that might entail as we look toward an uncertain future. It might be a while still before fans are able to return en masse, but for the moment, the NBA is back in relative full-swing, and the best we can do is keep pressing on as the slow, incremental progress continues.