NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver informed the Board of Governors that the league is planning -and hoping- for a pre-Christmas start for 2020-2021 season, despite former reports that said the new season would start not earlier than January 18th, and as late as mid-March. This early restart plan might come as a surprise for many, but the NBA has it clear, starting early gives time for a longer regular season and a good chance to return to “normality”, hopefully, for later on, for 2021-2020.
This plan is not yet approved and it does face many obstacles, starting with the fact that the Lakers just got their ring a couple of weeks ago, and teams that were in the bubble will not get much rest, as opposed to others who have been resting since March, or that just had little activity in the seeding games in Orlando.
Free agency just opened, and the NBA Draft is supposed to take place on November 18th, so all this makes it hard for teams to plan, and the transfer market will certainly be a little crazy as well.
Details are not clear, and much less defined, it’s all planned right now, and it all depends a lot on how well the whole Covid-19 crisis plays out in the next few weeks in America.
We have seen fans in MLB and NFL games already, and that is great for sports, no doubt, however, there is one major difference here, between those and NBA, and it’s the fact that MLB and NFL are played outdoors, and that is a key factor for allowing fans back in games. Indoor activities are not allowed to have fans yet, and this changes the whole thing for the NBA.
Now, not being allowed to bring fans back yet, the league wants to start as soon as possible and get on with the regular season, which would be 72 games long, instead of the usual 82. Remember, the main thing here is to bring things back to normal, so the NBA is planning to finish the season in mid-June or early-July, the latest, before the Summer Olympics start in Tokyo. If this is accomplished, then players will get their usual rest, things will go back in place and next season can go back to a October or November start.
Yes, it will, but we’re talking about almost 2 more months to go before the season would start, this gives teams like the Lakers and Heat, Nuggets and Celtics, still quite a few weeks to recover and get in good shape for next season. The pandemic has affected us all on some level, and if this is the toll for the NBA, then it’s something the league, teams and players should be able to live with.
There would also be seeding games at the end of regular season, to make things fair for everyone up to certain point, there would be, maybe not one, but a few bubbles for late stages of the season, and again, it’s all about adjusting and adapting to the new circumstances, NBA showed they can already, and there is no reason why the new plan wouldn’t be a success as well.