As a basketball fan, it’s only natural for you to tune in to games that capture your fancy. It may be because your favorite team is playing or a game features rivalry and other side stories. For example, a Christmas game between the Lakers or Celtics and last year’s Finals protagonists always garner significant interest.
But, what if, as you sit in your coach, beer and pizza in hand, you see the acronym PPD flashing across the TV screen? Would you be ecstatic, or should you just go to bed and fall asleep to ASMR videos? Of course, to definitively answer that question, you must first know what PPD is. So, what does PPD mean in basketball?
What Does PPD Stand for in Basketball?
When you see PPD in basketball or any sports, that means the game is “postponed” or canceled. In short, they will not be played, or the game has been canceled. The game is then rescheduled for a later date that may or may not be specified at the time of cancellation.
A PPD in basketball is a rare occurrence, but you may see it every now and then. The NBA does not often postpone or cancel games and only does so if there is no other recourse. The players’ health and safety are always put first.
3 Main Reasons Why PPD Happens in Basketball
There’s nothing more disappointing as a fan than having a game postponed. It’s even more frustrating if you have tickets to see the game live, and it’s your only chance of the year to catch a glimpse of LeBron James or Luka Doncic. However, as mentioned, the players’ health and safety always come first, and we couldn’t be selfish about it.
If NBA games get postponed (PPD), these three factors are probably the culprits.
1. Bad Weather Conditions
The NBA is played through the winter months, and it’s not unusual for a game to be postponed because of bad weather. However, be reminded that the NBA rarely postpones a game because of this.
Possibly the latest postponed NBA games due to weather conditions happened on the last days of January 2021 and several games in mid-February 2021. The Pistons-Dallas game was postponed, followed by the Rockets-Mavs and Rockets-Pacers outings. During that time, the governor of the state of Texas announced a state of emergency because of a winter storm that left inches of ice and snow on the roads.
Before that, weather-related game cancellations happened back in 2016. A blizzard warning by the National Weather Service postponed a game between the Jazz and the Wizards plus the Celtics and Sixers tiff.
2. Human Rights Movements
The NBA has championed human rights movements, and it shows when they cancel games because of such events. So much bad and negative stuff happened in the past years, such as police brutality and shootings, especially against the black community. As a predominantly black league, the NBA may decide (and have chosen) to postpone games to increase awareness of these crimes.
A very recent example was the shooting and killing of Jacob Blake on August 2020. The NBA was in the bubble in Orlando at that time, and it was supposed to be the playoffs. The Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the court as a form of protest, which resulted in three more playoff games getting canceled. The NBA and the players ultimately decided to continue playing and finished the 2020 season.
Even before the league’s “bubble” atmosphere at Walt Disney World in Orlando, there was criticism from players who feared that returning to play would detract from nationwide protests against police brutality. The NBA attempted to ease those fears by increasing social justice messaging in games, such as painting “Black Lives Matter” on the court and allowing players to speak for racial equality on the back of their jerseys.
3. Virus or Disease Outbreaks
The last reason why the NBA might postpone games is due to virus or disease outbreaks. As an example, we shouldn’t look too far. The Covid-19 outbreak forced the NBA to cancel games and potentially the 2019-20 season.
On March 11, 2022, the league suspended the game for at least 30 days when they discovered that Rudy Gobert, the former Jazz center, had contracted the virus. It wasn’t until almost three months later, on June 4, that the league continued the season at Disney World in Orlando.
The absurd thing about the initial postponement on March 11 was that the news about Gobert’s positive came just before tipoff between the Jazz-Thunder game. Players were already warming up, with thousands of people in attendance. Attendees were then informed by Chesapeake Energy Building PA announcer Mario Nanni that the game had been postponed and that they should securely exit the arena with the assurance that the crowd was safe.
The subsequent postponement of games– almost three months worth– was the most extensive string of stoppages that occurred in the NBA’s mid-season.
Covid-related PPDs also happened around December 2021, when five games were shelved. Five players from the Cleveland Cavaliers and 10 from the Brooklyn Nets were out due to health and safety protocols. The Orlando Magic and the Philadelphia 76ers had five combined players out because of Covid.
According to NBA rules, if a team has fewer than eight players available, the game will automatically be a PPD.
Who Makes the Decision on a PPD?
Although the commissioner is the most influential person in the NBA, the league is too big of a business for one person to make such a big decision. When there is a situation that might potentially cancel all of the NBA games, a team of representatives will decide what to do.
With the pandemic still lurking around, there is still a chance of Covid-related PPDs. Fortunately, the NBA relaxed a little bit on the protocols. Players who test positive for COVID-19 now have a faster road to return to play, thanks to a significant modification to the league’s health and safety protocols finalized at the end of 2021.
What Happens if the Game Got Postponed?
Postponed NBA games are typically played on a later date. The 2020 Covid-related PPDs are different as the league was forced to think of a format going into the bubble. However, even postponements due to Covid in the following seasons are rescheduled and played on a later date.
The NBA has taken steps to ensure that postponed games are kept to a minimum, as they should. For example, the league modified the hardship exemption to let teams sign a replacement player for each positive COVID-19 case on their rosters. This way, teams could still have more than eight players, and the game will likely push through. What’s more, it also gives a chance to players waiting for their opportunities to showcase their skills.
Wrapping Things Up: What Does PPD Mean in Basketball?
The NBA is a powerful billion-dollar organization. However, despite how many people they employ, the league still could not predict everything even if they tried. That is why we see games labeled PPD, especially during the pandemic.
What does PPD mean in basketball? PPD is short for “postponed.” Postponed games in the NBA are rare, but dire situations may call for such an arrangement. For example, bad weather conditions, human rights movements, and, most recently, virus and disease outbreaks may warrant a postponement. It’s frustrating for fans to get the games postponed, but ultimately, the health and safety of the players must be prioritized.
We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, be sure to check out our other basketball FAQ articles here.
Read the ultimate list of basketball slang terms here.