The NBA is reportedly aiming for a start date for the 2020/2021 season on December 22nd. The NBA league office reportedly told the Board of Governors on Friday last week that December 22nd is the targeted start date for the 2020/21 season, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
The league is considering a 72-game schedule for the season as well as a potential play-in tournament to determine the 8th seed in each conference. However, a “substantial faction” of NBA players are pushing the league to start the 2020/2021 season on January 18th, according to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes.
The proposed calendar from the players would make December 1st the first day of free agency. The NBPA (National Basketball Players Association) is planning to do a counter-proposal which is due today, Friday October 30th.
The NBA debuted its plan for a 72-game slate to the 2020/2021 season, with training camps starting as soon as December 1st, an extremely truncated period of rest for teams that were involved in the bubble especially the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers and runner-up Miami Heat.
Starting the season on December 22nd would give players just over two months off after the 2019/2020 season concluded in Orlando on October 11th. NBPA executive director Michele Roberts discussed the idea of starting in December on Tuesday, noting: “I don’t know what I think yet.”
“We are in the throes of discussing it and in the throes of evaluating what it means in terms of the revenue-related issues that have been raised. Frankly, we’re also spending some time trying to get information on what this means in respect to player health.” Roberts told USA Today Sports’ Mark Medina
The NBA and NBPA Disputing Over Season Start Date
“The union and the players are analyzing all of the information and will not be rushed. We have requested and are receiving data from the parties involved and will work on a counter-proposal as expeditiously as possible. I have absolutely no reason to believe that we will have a decision by Friday. I cannot and will not view Friday as a drop dead date.” NBPA executive director Michele Roberts said.
“Given all that has to be resolved between now and a December 22nd date, factoring that there will be financial risks by a later start date, it defies common sense that it can all be done in time. Our players deserve the right to have some runway so that they can plan for a start that soon. The overwhelming response from the players that I have received to this proposal has been negative.” Roberts continued.
The NBA is currently planning to begin the season without fans in the stands. It hopes to play games in home arenas in 2020/2021. However, it is “open to the idea of regional pods and intra-conference scheduling”.
The league hopes to end the 2020/2021 season prior to the Tokyo Olympics on July 23rd and there is no expected All-Star Game or All-Star weekend next season
Author: Tha Santa
Andrew Kristensen Masinde (Tha Santa) is a devoted sports analyst and content writer that loves sports. He is also the Digital Director at Events Freed, a digital events company.