NBA Eyeing December 22 Start For 2020-2021 Season
After the NBA bubble in Orlando concluded with the Los Angeles Lakers winning title 17 against the Miami Heat, many speculated that we would not see basketball for a long time. It was suggested that the league would wait until they could return without a bubble with fans in the seats, but reports over the past week have indicated that the league is actually eyeing a December 22 return with a schedule shortened to 72 games and team playing series similar to baseball that would significantly reduce travel across the league.
The NBA is planning to continue discussions with NBPA on 2020-2021 start plans that would include an opening night in the days prior to Christmas, 70-to-72 regular season games and a play-in tournament, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/aTobRpe9tZ
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 23, 2020
This feels almost like resignation from the league rather than an aggressive move to get basketball back as soon as possible. I think they took a look at the landscape of the country and the pandemic and realized that they will not be able to maximize revenue from the next season and just want to finish it and focus on 2021-2022.
The ratings for the playoffs were less than ideal and probably motivated the league to avoid the playoffs going up against the NFL. While nothing is set, and it has been reported that older players like LeBron James, may take the first several weeks of the season off in order to recover more from the bubble, it is seeming more and more likely that we will see basketball return in December.