National Basketball Association eyes December start

Carrie Guzman
October 26, 2020

The Dec. 22 date, which the league informed its Board of Governors about earlier today, represents a shift from what Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports reported yesterday; a January 18, Martin Luther King Day debut.

The NBA is eyeing a pre-Christmas Day start and a reduced regular-season schedule for the 2020-21 season.

The NBA is looking at starting a 72-game season in December and finishing in time for players to compete at the Tokyo Olympics, reports said on Friday.

I should note that the Players Association would have to agree with the NBA on any proposed season format.

The NBA may be back before Christmas and fans could return to games at some point next season, if one plan considered by the league's board of governors becomes reality.

Image NBA Reportedly Targeting December Start for 2020-21 Season Image #3
NBA targeting Dec. 22 start, 70 games for upcoming season: report

A play-in tournament for the final playoff spot in each conference, an idea developed due to the pandemic-hit season, would continue, according to the reports.

October 30 is setting up to be a key date. This season's NBA Finals ended on October 11. That deadline requires the league or union to give 45 days' notice if either decides to terminate the CBA - a scenario that sources continue to believe is a distant possibility. Commissioner Adam Silver has told the union that there would be at least eight weeks between an agreement and the official start of next season. Those talks, especially on the money issue, would have to be concluded before any real decisions about next season are made.

It would also mark about eight weeks until Christmas week.

Ongoing talks are centering on increased escrow taken from players' salaries, sources said. The league and union are still awaiting full reviews of basketball-related income, which shares the league's 51-49 revenue with the players. The league is also targeting a 72-game season, which would wrap before the Olympics in Tokyo.

The NBA has set the NBA Draft for November 18, with free agency expected to begin soon afterward for the 2020-2021 campaign.

38 new COVID-19 cases in Brookings Co. Saturday, Oct
There had been 1,147,457 deaths attributable to the virus by Saturday afternoon, indicating a global COVID mortality rate of 2.7%. Additionally, the department confirmed a further eight deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths to 653.


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