Milwaukee Bucks: Coronavirus impact also hits G League, 2K League affiliates

UNIONDALE, NY - DECEMBER 3: (Photo by Michelle Farsi/NBAE via Getty Images)
UNIONDALE, NY - DECEMBER 3: (Photo by Michelle Farsi/NBAE via Getty Images) /

It’s well-documented that play has been suspended for the Milwaukee Bucks, but the Wisconsin Herd and Bucks Gaming have also been affected by the coronavirus crisis.

As the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to create a public health emergency around the globe, there is virtually no sporting event that has been left untouched.

Milwaukee Bucks fans are undoubtedly fully aware of the impact it has had on their team, with the NBA season suspended on Wednesday night with the Bucks holding a league-best record of 53-12, but the trickle down effect of the situation has also made its way to the franchise’s affiliate squads.

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The Bucks weren’t the only team in the organization boasting a league-best record, as the Wisconsin Herd are the G League leaders with a record of 33-10 with just seven games remaining.

Following the NBA’s lead, action in the G League was suspended on Wednesday, although the situation at that level provides even greater uncertainty.

According to long-time G League insider Adam Johnson, the league has been having discussions with the NBA in which the most likely scenario appears to be the cancellation of the season.

Through further reporting from Johnson, news emerged that, importantly, players will continue to receive payment and benefits during the G League’s spell of disruption.

With salary considerably less lucrative at the G League level, and job security close to non-existent, that news is very welcome in terms of ensuring the welfare of players through this difficult period.

In addition to the Herd, with the NBA 2K League season originally scheduled to resume later this month, Bucks Gaming are also feeling the impact of the wider crisis.

The league officially announced on Friday that the start of the season has been postponed, and that planned preseason competitions will be played remotely from the franchises’ home markets.

For those who don’t follow the 2K League, that may lead to an understandable question as to how the need to play remotely interrupts a video game league, but like most major Esports organizations, 2K League games are usually held in a studio or arena environment with both teams in attendance, and fans in the audience.

As recently as four days ago, the 2K League was offering glimpses of the new studio for this season’s games.

Perhaps that studio may remain unused for a while if the league is forced to opt for remote competition as a more proactive and practical measure for the season itself, which is something ESPN’s Zach Lowe alluded to on Thursday.

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Important decisions remain for both the G League and the 2K League in the days, weeks and months ahead, where the safety of players and the public will undoubtedly remain the priority for decision-makers and those with a say from within the Bucks’ organization.