Correspondent Jamal Michel explores the presence of politics in sports, particularly the NBA. Current and former players were always involved in supporting the causes they believed in; it should not only be supported, but encouraged.  

NC State is lucky enough to have two of the most heralded men’s basketball teams in NCAA history: the criminally underrated 1974 team, known for their dominance and breaking up John Wooden’s string of championship teams at UCLA, and the 1983 team who defied the odds and won at the last second on a shot that embodied how improbable its season was. That team, and that shot, gets brought up every March when the NCAA Tournament is played, but I can’t help but feel that maybe it gets brought up a little too much.

After a 23-42 finish to the shortened 2019-20 NBA season, the Charlotte Hornets were not invited to participate in the bubble in Orlando. Now, the eight seeding games in Orlando are finished and the teams who did not qualify for the playoffs are gearing towards an NBA draft and offseason shrouded in mystery.

Out of the 22 NBA teams that played in the restart, 16 have moved onto the first round of the playoffs, including the Indiana Pacers, who have NC State representation. Both head coach Nate McMillan and forward T.J. Warren played for NC State in their collegiate careers.

The NBA regular season has drawn to a close after originally beginning on Oct. 22, 2019, four months after it was slated to end prior to the hiatus. The Indiana Pacers entered the bubble with a chip on their shoulder after having lost All-Star Domantas Sabonis and key rotation player, Jeremy Lamb, due to season-ending injuries.