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Mayor Bill De Blasio, basketball, NYC parks, coronavirus, social distancing
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Basketball hoops are being removed from 80 NYC parks

By
Howard Halle
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If your thing is playing street ball at one of NYC's many public basketball courts, you're going to have to put those hoop dreams on hold.

According to reports in the New York Post and New York Daily News, Mayor De Blasio has ordered the removal of basketball rims from some 80 city parks over coronavirus concerns. It seems that social-distancing protocols, like the sort put in place elsewhere in the city, were not being followed by players during pick-up games.

There are 1,700 city parks in the city overall, but the 80 cited in the decision were chosen because attempts to break up games in each had repeatedly failed. [UPDATE: The New York Parks Department has posted a list of affected locations. You can find it here.]

During a press conference yesterday evening, Mayor De Blasio did note that you can't have basketball games without basketball hoops—a logic that’s as simple as it redundant. He also threatened that if social distancing continued to be flouted on the city's basketball courts, hoops would be removed from all of them.

Left unanswered is the question of how—aside from horse—you can actually play basketball while everyone maintains a distance of six feet from each other. The problem of guarding an opponent under those circumstances, for example, would vex even the greatest defensive coordinators in the NBA.

Yet the worry over spreading the coronavirus through team sports is hardly unfounded. For now, it's probably best to stick to running alone.

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