When will the 2020-2021 NBA season start?

ByMahmoud Mohamed KABC logo
Friday, November 6, 2020
Lakers public celebration on hold due to pandemic
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The Lakers have officially announced that any public celebration of their 17th championship will have to wait because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The NBA season ended less than a month ago. So when will the next one start?

National Basketball Players Association Board of Representatives voted Thursday to approve a plan for a Dec. 22 start to the 2020-21 season, sources tell ESPN. The schedule will be 72 games long.

ESPN reports the move clears the way for league and union to finalize details on the 2020-2021 season.

"The Board of Player Representatives of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) has tentatively approved a start date of December 22, 2020 for the 2020-2021 NBA season and a 72-game schedule. Additional details remain to be negotiated and the NBPA is confident that the parties will reach agreement on these remaining issues relevant to the upcoming season," a statement from the NBPA said.

Some members of the National Basketball Players Association believe a December start is too soon because of the pandemic and how the end of the 2019-20 season was delayed - particularly for teams that made deep playoff runs and were still playing in September and October. Those members would prefer a January start to the next season.

Sources told ESPN that the NBPA's Board of Players Representatives voted to approve the start in a conference call with NBPA executive director Michele Roberts.

The previous season ended Oct. 11, when the Lakers captured the title over the Miami Heat in a 4-2 series held in the bubble in Orlando.

The NBA's Board of Governors and the union were to hold separate meetings on Thursday with the expectation they would agree on the Dec. 22 start, ESPN reported. The schedule is normally 82 games.

Another issue involved in the decision is revenue. According to ESPN, NBA commissioner Adam Silver on a conference call with the league's general managers on Monday, said "time is running out" on the possibility of starting the 2020-21 season prior to Christmas Day and potentially salvaging hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.

A January start would lead to less revenue. Last season the NBA missed revenue projections by $1.5 billion. Due to the pandemic 14% of the season wasn't played which led to some players losing roughly about the same percentage of their salaries.

As for where the games will be played the NBA prefers an in-person season rather than a bubble like the end of the 2019-2020 season but no decision has been made.