According to multiple reports from multiple sources, the NBA is trying to make plans to start the 2020-21 season a few days before Christmas. Here’s a Tweet dump:
The push for a Christmas Day start to the 2020-21 NBA season, which would naturally please the league's TV partners, is gaining momentum, league sources say— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) October 23, 2020
Sources: NBA and Board Governors continued discussion on call today about playing something resembling more of a baseball series to limit travel outside of bubble. For example, a team might travel to New York and play its two road games against Knicks and one vs. Nets. https://t.co/ObuqSkNXCB— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 23, 2020
Because approximately two-thirds of the league’s current jurisdictions still aren’t allowing large gatherings of people – as well as the ominous current trajectory of the virus – the NBA has become less apt to delay start of season and wait on return of fans, sources said. https://t.co/owCgERQOEX— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 23, 2020
Sources: The NBA continues to prefer in-market play for 2020-21 season -- avoiding bubbles. Arena protocols when fans are allowed could include testing for some and better air purifiers in buildings.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 23, 2020
Full details on @TheAthleticNBA: https://t.co/pdIlY1Uob3
Here’s the gist:
- The NBA wants to play a 70 or 72 game schedule that would start on Tuesday, December 22
- That means Christmas day games!
- The quicker turnaround means future seasons won’t be as impacted by the reshuffling like they would if next season ran deep into the summer again
- It would also allow players to play in the 2020 Olympics that are now being held in 2021
- The league would try to reduce travel by playing a schedule kind of like baseball’s
- The league would prefer to avoid another bubble and play games within team’s home markets
- The fact that the coronavirus situation isn’t improving is factoring in
So we’ll touch on the bad part of this first. The league was looking at a start time in late January or early February with the hopes that the coronavirus pandemic would be more under control, which would mean fans could come to games. However, we’re trending in the wrong direction, so it doesn’t look like fans will be present at games for still a while longer. The whole point of waiting was to get fans in arena. That reasoning seems moot at this time.
Now for the less ominous stuff. If this plan were to come to fruition, we’d get Christmas Day games. Some may say that’s the best part of Christmas. Nothing like having some basketball on in the background while you sit around, eat too much food, and take inventory of all the free stuff you got at the cost of buying stuff for other people.