Next NBA Season Unlikely To Begin Until 2021
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver stated that the proposed December 1st start date was “feeling a bit early.”
It’s a sad day for NBA fans.
While the NBA Playoffs at the ‘bubble’ site in Florida have been a resounding success, once the NBA Finals end in October, fans will be without basketball for another extended period of time.
Commissioner Adam Silver announced on CNN this week that the proposed December 1st beginning to the 2020-21 regular season “was feeling a bit early.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2019-20 season was brought to a halt in March. After over four-months–the longest absence of NBA action in league history–the season resumed in late July.
Many around the league had hoped for a Christmas Day start to next season, but Silver believes that the league will be “better off” starting the season in January when hopefully more information becomes available about pandemic.
Silver hopes for a standard season, one that would include a full 82-game regular season and postseason.
One interesting bit of information release by Silver was that the league hopes to bring fans back in a limited capacity next season.
“The goal would be to play games in home arenas in front of fans. But there’s still a lot that we need to learn in terms of rapid testing, for example, would that be a means of getting fans into our buildings? Will there be other protections?”
A lot of research and work will need to be done before the NBA allows fans into arenas come next season.
Silver mentioned that the NBA is learning from other leagues, such as the NFL who are allowing limited fans in ‘pods’–where groups of fans are separated by several empty rows.
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred recently stated the there will likely be fans at next month’s National League Championship Series and World Series in Arlington, Texas.
There will be plenty of opportunities for the NBA to learn from other sports organizations, including the NCAA who have also allowed fans in a limited capacity.
Fans returning to NBA arena’s next season could be possible, but for now, supporters of the league will have to just enjoy the remainder of the postseason and see what comes next.