We interrupt this NBA shutdown to bring you a very important anime.

The cancellation of major sporting events might not seem like a huge sacrifice in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, until you realize the massive scope of influence they have over thousands of jobs and peripheral businesses.

For example, when the NBA announced that it would suspend operations to help prevent the spread of the virus, executives across the world at ELTA TV Sports HD in Taiwan suddenly had to scramble for alternative programming. Luckily, someone there was clever enough to come up with the best possible solution.

The broadcast schedule above shows that on 17 March ELTA TV Sports TV 1 will be showing Dwayne Wade’s final slam dunk contest in April of 2019 from nine in the morning. While old sports broadcasts are all well and good, they can’t guarantee people will tune in, so during prime time, the network decided to bust out the big guns…

Yes, for people craving all the drama and excitement of basketball, there has never been a better time to revisit the classic Slam Dunk and all the antics of Hanamichi Sakuragi, Takenori Akagi, and of course Coach Anzai.

Slam Dunk follows the rise to basketball glory of bad-boy Sakuragi, who joins his high school team in order to impress a girl, only to find his true love lies in the game itself. Its easily accessible storyline and easily understandable depictions of basketball have made it not only one of the best sports manga and anime, but one of the best manga and anime of all time, period.

In fact it’s probably a safe bet to say that the very existence of basketball coverage in Taiwan is at least partly thanks to the huge influence of Slam Dunk had in Asia back when it first came out in the 90s.

Meanwhile, netizens in both Taiwan and Slam Dunk‘s home of Japan applauded the new programming.

“What if it gets better ratings than the actual NBA games?”
“I wish they’d animate Slam Dunk all the way to the end though…”
“This might be a good time for a Slam Dunk reboot with some slicker animation.”
“ESPN should do the same for all sports; Redline, Ping Pong, even Keijo!!!!!!!!

Keijo!!!!!!! is a popular series centered around a fictional sport in which girls in swimsuits must knock each other off of platforms using only their chests or buttocks.

Keijo!!!!!!! or no Keijo!!!!!!!!, the full conversion of ESPN into a 24-hour sports anime network would be an amazing sight to behold, but hopefully we’ll keep working toward a return to normalcy first for everyone’s sake.

Source: Facebook/@ELTASPORTS, Yurukuyaru, My Game News Flash
Top image: YouTube/Marko Runjanin
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