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The NBA wants to come back in December and begin a new season along the lines of what the NFL has done, tight team isolation and constant testing for all players and staff, as well as travel from state to state to compete.
The league informed the Board of Governors that it is targeting a late December, pre-Christmas return. The NBA’s preference is a 72-game schedule that would end the season by early July, before the scheduled start of the Summer Olympics. On this schedule, training camps would open in early December, less than two months after the Lakers finished off Miami in the NBA Finals.
ESPN first reported the NBA’s plans for a Christmas start, meaning things are settled? The NBA is back?
Well, it’s not that easy in the year 2020 is it?
The NBA may want to return around Christmas, but the league can’t simply get what it wants. It’s become increasingly apparent to team and league officials that playing games in front of fans is unlikely, at least in the first quarter of 2021. As the NBA brainstormed ideas this summer, there was hope that, even without a vaccine for COVID-19, new safety measures, including rapid testing, would make it feasible to get fans in buildings. If not, that means 100% of revenue would be reliant on TV and TV only, a scenario that just isn’t realistic for such an income driven association.
Its biggest obstacle: The players union. Union officials have often suggested that starting the season before 2021 is unrealistic.
“My guess is we’ll probably not start until early 2021,” said NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts.
The annual NBA All Star festivities that many players, coaches and fans adore so much has been postponed until 2024 due to raising COVID-19 concerns.
Originally set to take place from February 12-14 in Indianapolis, it will now be moved for the people and city of Indy to host the events on a weekend in 2024. It is still a possibility that the NBA will host some sort of All Star festivities, but that is unclear as of now and will have to be revisited at a later date.