The NBA was able to crown a champion in the early part of October, but the players in the finals will not experience a typical off-season.
Didn’t the NBA season just end? It sure seems like it. That’s probably about right for 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic, nothing seems to be typical or normal. In fact, most teams are experiencing a variety of off-season lengths this year.
When Will the New Season Begin?
The NBA and the NBPA have come to an agreement to start the 2020-21 NBA season on December 22, 2020. The NBA has had a huge television following on Christmas Day for many years and this was certainly a factor in bringing the season back as soon as they are. The players for the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat that were in the NBA Finals are only receiving an off-season of 71 days.
Variables in the Off-Season for the NBA
While a break of 71 days seems like a reasonable amount of time, it’s nothing close to what players, even those in the championship, experience. With that stated, there are eight teams that weren’t brought to the bubble in Orlando, which means their off-season began on March 13, giving them nine months away from basketball. The rest of the teams began their off-season at progressive times based on where they ended in the playoffs.
More Dates Set for the NBA
The beginning of the next season isn’t the only change that was made for the NBA. Several other dates and changes have been agreed upon. One bit of good news is the Salary Cap for this season will be the same as it was at the beginning of the 2019-20 season. This is huge news considering the expected loss of revenue for the NBA and NBPA.
Other dates that are now set include:
• The NBA Draft is set for November 18
• Free agency negotiations begin on November 20
• Teams can begin signing players on November 22
• Training camps begin on December 1
• The season will be reduced to 72 games
The Biggest Question
Right now, the biggest question for the NBA is whether or not fans will be in attendance. This question will continue to loom large as we move toward the start of the season. There’s a good chance the NBA will need to be cautious regarding fan attendance and pay attention to CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19 spikes and the impact of this deadly virus.
With a new vaccine on the horizon for the COVID-19 virus, it’s likely we won’t see fans allowed at NBA games to start the new season, but fans may be allowed in arenas shortly after the vaccine is distributed widely throughout the country. This is certainly hopeful as we look for something to bring us back to our old form of normal.
Will Some Players Sit Out the Start of the Season?
Rumors have swirled around NBA circles and sports reporting that some of the top stars in the league might sit out at the beginning of the NBA season. One such star is certainly LeBron James who was integral in leading the Lakers to the NBA Championship. With such a short off-season and his longevity in the league, it’s possible we won’t see James show up for games until the beginning of January.LeBron James isn’t the only player from the Lakers and Heat to discuss the possibility of sitting out the start of the season, he’s only the highest-profile player. The start of the new season put the NBA and NBPA in a bind due to the Christmas Day revenue that would be lost if they didn’t begin the season prior to this date. Don’t be surprised to see teams, especially those in the last few teams from the playoffs, playing without their stars.
If You Love NBA Basketball, You’ve Got Something to Look Forward to
The question of when the NBA season would begin and how it would be presented to us has been answered. We’re going to receive a 72-game season starting on December 22. The goal is to have a somewhat normal season and normal timing that will hopefully reset the typical schedule timing for the 2021-22 season. While nothing about 2020 or the COVID-19 pandemic has felt normal, having NBA basketball on Christmas Day has been a tradition for many families. Get ready to watch the teams that are scheduled on this date square off and capture your attention as you enjoy your holiday fun.