Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press
The NBA will be back before the year ends.
On Thursday, the National Basketball Players Association confirmed their representatives are expected through a 72-game season that will kick off on December 22.
NBPA̵7;S REPORT ON NBA 2020-2021 BEGINNING DATE AND SCHEDULE 🔗: https://t.co/BmNtnYsm63 https://t.co/AvCaVAOWK7
The Athletic and Stadium’s Shams Charania first reported that the parties had agreed to a deal.
Charania and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN Provide more details:
Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn
Sources tell ESPN, the NBPA player representative vote is complete, approving the start season / 72 regular matches December 22nd Next: NBA / NBPA finalizes the CBA financial terms to be revised, to take effect next week. Expect the trade ban to be lifted soon before the November 18 draft.
Shams Charania @ShamsCharania
NBA and NBPA sources are discussing a minimum 2% annual growth in the salary and luxury tax limits over the life of the collective bargaining agreement. Cap is expected to be $ 109 million this holiday season.
Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn
NBA and NBPA are expected to discuss the initiation of free agency operations as soon as possible to facilitate the players joining the new teams closer to the training camp start date on December 1. , the sources tell ESPN.
This news has been widely expected. The The New York Times‘Marc Stein reported on Wednesday that’ aMotivation on the player’s side “heads to the training camps on December 1 pre-season usually three weeks later.
Athletic’s David Aldridge also spoke to a representative who mentioned the potential consequences of dodging the tabulated proposal:
David Aldridge @davidaldridgedc
Hear from many famous player dealerships who have communicated with their customers that the federation is highly likely to accept the NBA’s proposal for the 72-game 2020-21 season starting December 22. ” We must do that, “said a representative. The expected losses of the latter are too great.
With the COVID-19 epidemic pausing the 2019-20 season, one question arises among many as how will it disrupt the schedule of the future tournament. The NBA Finals didn’t end until October 11, which made the mid to late October tradition begin for the following year but not possible.
One stream of thought is that the NBA will wait until the development of the COVID vaccine allows fans to return to the arenas in bulk again. Some stadiums have received fans in other leagues, albeit with a much lower capacity.
The limitation of that approach is that it is not clear when a vaccine will be available.
In a September interview with Bob Costas for CNN, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said January was his “best guess” of the start date. He added that one goal would be to play home matches with fans but some logistics issues need to be addressed on that front.
However, Charania reported on October 23 that the NBA league office told their board that December 22 was a new expected target.
ESPN’s Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst provided some additional context. Plans would see the regular season shortened from 82 games to 72 and All-Star Games 2021 canceled. The report said the NBA was “abandoned plans to delay the opening in the hopes of bringing fans back into the arenas. “
Windhorst explains a reason behind December 22, namely in the October 26 episode of Hoop Collective audio file. TNT will be able to broadcast the Los Angeles Lakers season opening, when their players will collect their NBA championship rings, and ESPN will have its regular Christmas Day match roster.
Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe suggest possible financial ramifications: “The federation believes the match that started on December 22 includes Christmas Day games on television and allows the 72-match schedule to end before the Mid-July Summer Olympics to be worth from 500 million. to 1 billion dollars in short and long term revenue for the league and players, the source said. “
Any suggestion from the federation requires player approval, and Charania notes how the doors open around Christmas “faster than expected, “implying a possible increase in resistance.
Danny Green’s Lakers swingman poses on The Ringer NBA Show that some of his teammates, including LeBron James, may choose to sit out for a long time to allow themselves a little more rest:
The NBA is looking to re-start things on December 22, but @ DGreen_14 and the other Lakers aren’t too keen on it 😅 Full #RealOnes with @loganmmurdock and Raja Bell: https://t.co/yYIdpuK49o https: //t.co/NHwFIVG00D
However, not all teams have the same status as the Lakers and Eastern Conference champions the Miami Heat. The eight Walt Disney World Resort non-bubble franchises have not been airing since March, and films that don’t do deep post-season will have a slightly more traditional spin-off of the duration.
Without further reducing the number of games, starting in December is arguably the only alternative if the NBA wants to go back to its regular October-April schedule for 2021-22.