Until the NBA season was suspended, one of the hottest debate topics in the league surrounded Giannis Antetokounmpo's future in Milwaukee.
Will he sign the super-max contract with the Bucks? Will he test the free agency market and be wooed by a bigger market with brighter lights? And how, just how, do the Golden State Warriors fit into this equation?
Now that there are more important issues at hand, speculation surrounding the MVP's future has subsided (for now).
Respected NBA analyst Amin El-Hassan made a recent appearance on Sirius XM NBA Radio and discussed how a worst case scenario of cancelling the NBA's post-season may actually be a good thing for the Bucks chances of keeping Antetokounmpo home.
Meanwhile, during this hiatus, Antetokounmpo is getting a rare lengthy paternity leave for an NBA player, spending time with his newborn son, Liam, and playing "couple challenge" with girlfriend, Mariah.
Do you miss basketball?
Specifically, how much do you miss watching Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks, winners in 53 of their 65 games played during the 2019-20 season, dominating the competition in a majority of those matchups.
Some games have stuck out more than others. A 50-point lead against Oklahoma City, blowing out the Los Angeles Clippers with Kawhi Leonard on the floor, Khris Middleton scoring 50, the Greek Freak going for 50 without committing a single turnover, and of course their first marquee matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Courtesy of the NBA on TNT, Bucks fans can rewatch that game in its entirety right on Twitter.
The atmosphere inside Fiserv Forum, the surrounding bars and Deer District was electric before and after the game. Bucks fans, usually more of a humble bunch, were ready to start planning the parade and crown Antetokounmpo as league King.
After a rewatch of this game, there are some major takeaways. Couple good, some bad and a few ugly.
George Hill's efficiency was a microcosm of how much a key he has been for Milwaukee this season.
The Lakers wanted Antetokounmpo to shoot 3's, they left him relatively open to do so. His ability to connect on a few from long range showed a glimpse of what could be if he ever becomes a legitimate threat from beyond-the-arc.
The odds were stacked against the Lakers. This was their fifth road game played over an eight day stretch. They were also without Kyle Kuzma. LeBron James logged 147 minutes in the previous four games.
Ersan Ilyasova scored just two points in 17 minutes against the Lakers. This was months before the Bucks signed Marvin Williams after he was bought out. Since the addition of Williams, Ilyasova's workload has decreased. Long term, this bad could end up being considered a positive wake up call.
While the Bucks defensively were able to relatively slow James, Anthony Davis led all scorers with 36 points. His second half performance helped the Lakers chip away at a once substantial lead.
The rematch in Los Angeles, right before league play was suspended, did not favor the Bucks whatsoever.
Basketball will be back. And, if these two teams clash heads in the NBA Finals, buckle up!
In April of 2007, the Cleveland Indians and Anaheim Angels played a three-game series at Miller Park.
Snow storms in Cleveland forced the regular season games be moved to Milwaukee on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
According to the Milwaukee Business Journal, 19,000 fans showed up for Game 1. The stadium called in 500 additional workers to run concessions, parking and maintenance.
If a plan proposed by baseball super agent Scott Boras, Miller Park could host two playoff teams in 2020. Not necessarily the Brewers.
During a conversation with the LA Times, Boras suggested that the Major League Baseball season be extended into the winter months. Playing all playoff games at the three stadiums in California plus venues with domes, including Miller Park.
In the report, Boras points out that the average California temperature in November and December is nearly 67 degrees. A warmer average than early season games in most Midwestern and Northeastern cities.
Boars' suggestion further entails the regular season plays the usual 162 games. Other theories propose that if games are allowed to resume in July, the regular season be cut to less than 100 games, starting the post-season in October as originally planned.
His plan also breaks down a "neutral" World Series, where Game 6 is played on Christmas Day.
There is no official plan or date for when games will resume.
One of the major concerns that arises is the start date of the 2021 season. If players are playing well into November, that date would have to be pushed back as well.
Who doesn't love a good highlight mixtape?
Who also doesn't love going down a rabbit hole on YouTube, watching clip after clip of your favorite athlete or team? The next thing you know, hours have passed.
The Milwaukee Brewers have given fans plenty of moments to cheer about over the past few seasons. Below is a sampling of highlights worth revisiting.
For example, remember the day Christian Yelich went 6-for-6, hit for the cycle and recorded a huge outfield assist?
Then hit for the cycle again a few weeks later, against the same team.
Or the time Yelich walked off the Cubs?
The 2018 National League's Most Valuable Player hasn't been the only one making plays for The Crew. Lorenzo Cain finally won a Gold Glove Award in 2019, an honor that was overdue and much deserved.
And, just in case you want to see that 'NOT TODAY' robbery from Opening Day 2019 again.
Not to pick on the Cubs again, but Yelich and rookie Keston Hiura displayed late game heroics to beat Chicago in extra innings in 2019.
Hiura made a couple other highlights during his rookie season as well.
Josh Hader knows a thing or two about highlights, he had 9 of them in one inning against the Cardinals. Matt Lepay calling "the immaculate inning" is sure to send the chills up and down your spine.
Speaking of pitchers, remember when #PitchersWhoRake was a thing in Milwaukee?
Brent "The Raptor" Suter took Cy Young Award Winner Corey Kluber deep to center field.
And Brandon Woodruff "are you kidding me?" off of Clayton Kershaw in Game 1 of the 2018 National League Championship Series.
Finally, Ryan Braun may be considering retirement following the 2020 season, but the motto, will always be RBF. Ryan Braun Forever.
Eventually, baseball will return. Cold beers, brats, secret stadium sauce and tailgating will be normal again.
If life was normal right now then Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich would be preparing to play a regular season baseball game this week.
Thursday, March 26 at 1:10 pm CST. The Brewers were supposed to host their rival, the Chicago Cubs, on Opening Day.
Those plans are on hold until further notice.
As many athletes, and sports fans, have done during this time period without live action, Yelich revisited previous games. Taking to his Twitter as he watched games from the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
Just the fourth installment of the tournament, the United States won gold in 2017. Marcus Stroman, now pitching for the New York Mets, was named MVP.
Starting the the championship game, Yelich was 2-of-5 with an RBI and run scored.
Despite personal criticism of his form.
The most recent update from MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred delays first pitch by at least eight more weeks. But that is just a minimum. There is no time table for return to action for any professional or amateur sport.
A quarantine feeling we can all probably relate to.
And, just in case you want to relive the 2017 World Baseball Classic, here's a highlight video of Team USA's title run.
Major League Baseball announced that Opening Day is being delayed.
When will the first pitch be thrown?
No one is entirely sure yet. Commissioner Rob Manfred is following directives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, medical professionals and the World Health Organization. There are reports and speculation of a possible July 4 start date, but the truth in the matter is that there are too many unknowns to pinpoint anything official.
In the meantime, General Manager of the Milwaukee Brewers, David Stearns, provided an update saying that players are allowed to leave the team's spring training facility in Arizona, and return home or to Milwaukee.
Players also have the option to stay the Phoenix area.
Manager Craig Counsell sent this informative video to bored baseball fans everywhere. The team shared it on their social media platforms.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton miss playing the game they've played their entire lives.
Middleton posted a photo on Instagram of him lying on the court. The first word of the caption he typed was "mood."
Antetokounmpo captioned a picture of him during warmups and wrote "I miss the game man."
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver did an interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols on Wednesday evening, updating fans on the status of the league, and the requirements that must be met before game play can consider resuming.
"When can we restart and operate as we've known it, with 19,000 fans in buildings?" he said.
"So that's one sort of criteria. And option two is, should we consider restarting without fans, and what would that mean?
"If you had a group of players and staff around them that could test them and follow some protocol, doctors and health officials may say it's safe to play. So that's the second set of circumstances."
Following a positive coronavirus test for NBA
It has been seven full days since the NBA opted to suspend their season. The decision came shortly after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. Since then, multiple teams have been tested and numerous players have been diagnosed with the virus, including Kevin Durant, Donovan Mitchell and former Milwaukee Bucks forward Christian Wood.
Podcast: Re-Live Game 7 of the 2001 Eastern Conference Finals
Although he laid out all of the circumstances, Silver responsibly made no promises as to when players could take the floor to play once again.
"I've learned in this job and in this process that when people do pretend they can predict the future, they're generally wrong. Look no further than the fact that two weeks ago and a week ago people were saying very different things than they're saying today."
Silver hopes that they'll be in a position to "salvage" a portion of the regular season, but they've also discussed a few creative "play-in" scenarios for the post-season. They've also considered forming a charitable aspect to the hiatus, essentially replicating the NBA's All-Star game for fans to watch at home.
Players would be tested before participating. There is no official plan in place yet, but the league is leaving no stone unturned.
The Oklahoma City Thunder, who recently played in Milwaukee, announced that all of their tests came back negative.
March Madness is cancelled.
Major League Baseball is pushing back the start of their season for at least eight weeks. Although some reporters are hearing that the season may not begin until the month of July, at the earliest.
The National Basketball Association is suspended until further notice, and may not resume play until June.
These drastic measures are for the greater good. Leagues are taking advice from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Medical Professionals and the World Health Organization to implement protocols on preventing the spread of the coronavirus or COVID-19.
In the meantime, sports fans worldwide need some form of entertainment, and frankly, something to place bets on.
This won't be the only 'Social Distance Bracket' released by The Wisconsin Sports Zone Network.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was drafted in 2014. That season the Milwaukee Bucks won just 15 regular season games. From then until now, he's had a plethora of teammates. Some are fan favorites. Others may not be recognized walking around Mayfair Mall.
We present the 'Antetokounmpo Teammate' bracket. Four regions. 64 teams.
Voting will occur or Twitter starting Tuesday, March 17. Follow @ZoneMadison to cast your daily ballot.
Your vote isn't for the best candidate. Or the candidate who is going to help Antetokounmpo and the Bucks secure an NBA Championship. This is all about who you like. For whatever random reason you enjoy them as a player.
The only thing they have in common is that they have been teammates with Antetokounmpo, at least for one day.
Khris Middleton, Jabari Parker, Ersan Ilyasova and Eric Bledsoe are the No.1 seeds, representing the MVP, Zoom Freak 1, All-Star Captain and 15th Overall Pick regions respectively.
Bracket Breakdown: Round 1
No.1 Overall Seed, Khris Middleton vs. (16) Axel Toupane
(2) Robin Lopez vs. (15) Jaylen Morris
(3) Pat Connaughton) vs. (14) Johnny O'Bryant
(4) George Hill vs. (13) Spencer Hawes
(5) Thon Maker vs. (12) Mizra Teletovic
(6) Miles Plumlee vs. (11) Matthew Dellavedova
(7) Greg Monroe vs. (10) Gary Neal
(8) Michael Carter Williams vs. (9) Kenyon Martin
Zoom Freak 1 Region
(1) Jabari Parker vs. (16) DeAndre Liggins
(2) Brandon Jennings vs. (15) Jason Smith
(3) Thanasis Antetokounmpo vs. (14) Tyler Ennis
(4) Michael Beasley vs. (13) Nikola Mirotic
(5) Jared Dudley vs. (12) ZaZa Pachulia
(6) Christian Wood vs. (11) Miroslav Raduljica
(7) Caron Butler vs. (10) Luke Ridnour
(8) Sterling Brown vs. (9) Marvin Williams
All-Star Captain Region
(1) Ersan Ilyasova vs. (16) Sean KilPatrick
(2) Brook Lopez vs. (15) Bonzie Colson
(3) Tony Snell vs. (14) Gary Payton II
(4) Jerryd Bayless vs. (13) Nate Wolters
(5) Kendall Marshall vs. (12) Rashad Vaughn
(6) DJ Wilson vs. (11) Tony Mitchell
(7) OJ Mayo vs. (10) Tyler Zeller
(8) Marshall Plumlee vs. (9) Larry Sanders
15th Overall Pick Region
(1) Eric Bledsoe vs. (16) Xavier Munford
(2) Malcolm Brogdon vs. (15) Trevon Duval
(3) Jason Terry vs. (14) Jared Cunningham
(4) Steve Novak vs. (13) Tim Frazier
(5) Donte DiVincenzo vs. (12) Greivis Vasquez
(6) John Henson vs. (11) Shabazz Muhammad
(7) Brandon Knight vs. (10) Ramon Sessions
(8) Kyle Korver vs. (9) Pau Gasol
Let the games begin
Have you ever wanted to play NBA 2K against your favorite player? Or team up with them on Call of Duty?
While the season is currently "suspended" as a precautionary attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus, now might be your best chance to catch players from around the league logged on and playing online video games as they are practicing 'social distancing' from others.
Milwaukee Bucks point guard Eric Bledsoe is a known gamer and plays on the tag "ebfive" on XBox. Teammates such as Donte DiVincenzo have also been known to pick up a controller during the NBA's offseason.
Currently, the league has implemented a series of rules for players while games and practices are not being held. If they are working out at the team's practice facility, they are only allowed one player per basket, eliminating all team work, defensive drills and full court games.
Recently, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that players are now available to leave their markets, something that as previously banned. However, they are to keep their team updated on their whereabouts and cannot leave North America.
It's unlike Giannis Antetokounmpo to post videos while working out, but he is not scared of the camera while he's at home. Recently, the 2019 NBA MVP has been active on social media, commenting and capturing his newly found off-time at home.
He also learned a new skill, practicing the guitar, and is available for bookings.
Antetokounmpo isn't just goofing around during this unchartered time for the league. Over the weekend he announced a donation of $100,000 to ensure compensation for hourly workers of Fiserv Forum who are currently without work.
Khris Middleton and team owners matched the donation. After word spread quickly, every player on the Bucks roster made a monetary pledge to help those in need.
As for what's next to waste time, Antetokounmpo may be training to become a chess master.
NBA representatives continue referring to the situation as "fluid" and there is no time table for return to action. The CDC recently recommended that gatherings of 50 or more people be banned for at least the next two months.
ESPN further reported that NBA owners are preparing to be on hiatus for a three month minimum.
As he often does on the basketball court, Giannis Antetokounmpo took control of the situation.
It wasn't in the form of a thunderous dunk or game-changing blocked shot, though. In this instance, Antetokounmpo impacted the livelihood of Fiserv Forum employees who make their living working hourly in the Milwaukee Bucks arena.
Following in the footsteps of Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love, Antetokounmpo promised to donate that substantial amount of money to ensure that arena employees have income while NBA games and events are suspended due to the coronavirus.
His teammates followed suit. Fellow All-Star Khris Middleton announced that he would match Antetokounmpo's donation. The team also promised to match any donation made by one of their players.
By Saturday morning, the entire Bucks roster had contributed to the fund, helping to support hourly employees whose lives would otherwise have been negatively impacted by loss of wages.
In late January, Fiserv Forum announced a new three and-a-half year contract agreement with an organization that represents arena employees. Terms of the deal would increase minimum wage to $15 per hour. Wisconsin's current minimum wage in 2020 is $7.25.
That bump in pay isn't set to go into effect until July 1, right before the Democratic National Convention is scheduled to take over the arena.
Player donations and acts of good will have quickly become the norm over the past 48 hours.
Love, as well as Detroit Pistons star Blake Griffin have donated $100,000.
Jeremy Lin has made contributions in China and the United States.
The Atlanta Hawks, Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks and others have announced plans to compensate hourly employees, including donations of $1 million.
The Cavaliers will pay workers of Rocket Mortgage Field House as if they are working scheduled shifts during the game-play stoppage.
Former President of the United States, Barack Obama, took to Twitter to thank players for helping out.
Zion Williamson, a 19-year old rookie, pledged to personally cover paychecks for Smoothie King Arana employees in New Orleans.
There is no scheduled date to resume games. NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced that the league would revisit the situation after 30 days of suspension. All other professional sporting leagues who are currently playing games, including spring training for Major League Baseball, have also suspended day-to-day activity.
Since the postponement announcement, the Bucks were scheduled to play seven more home games in the month of March alone.
If an hourly employee was making $15 per hour, and working eight-hour shifts on game day, their pay before taxes would equal $840.
That is a substantial amount of money earned that could be put towards rent payments, child care, bills and other essential living expenses.
Both the wage estimation and scheduled hours are on the high side for an arena event. The guarantee rate of $15 doesn't go into effect for another four months.