NBA Player Reps Approve 2020-21 Schedule
The National Basketball Association will be forced to change its normal schedule for the 2020-21 regular season, and it appears that things are starting to take shape.
The league was hoping to get a plan in place soon in hopes of starting the season before the New Year.
On Thursday night, the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) board of representatives voted in favor of starting the season on Dec. 22. This plan also includes a reduced 72-game regular-season schedule.
A normal NBA season is 82 games in length, but the league had already announced that a 72-game schedule was likely going to happen. Starting the season before Christmas on Dec. 22 was a shock, especially to those teams that just finished up long playoff runs.
Now the league and the union will be able to nail down all of the final details of the upcoming season, and those talks are expected to heat up soon. The league is hoping to open up free agency almost immediately after the Nov. 18 NBA Draft.
Under this proposed plan, training camps would likely begin for each team on Dec. 1, giving teams three weeks to get ready for the new season. Some teams have not been together since March, and the league wants to give them plenty of time to prepare for a season.
Choosing a starting date and a length of the season were two important pieces that the league needed to figure out, but there are other factors that still need to be ironed out. One of the biggest issues will be regarding fan attendance and where the games will actually be played.
Originally, the league was going to hold off on playing games until fans could be in attendance, but it is unlikely that there will be fans in December. This will cost the league millions of dollars once again, and it will force the union to negotiate with the league on a new revenue sharing policy.
It has been a very strange, and awkward season with games postponed and called off due to the ongoing pandemic.
One of the biggest reasons to start the 2020-21 season before Christmas was the ability to finish the season before the Summer Olympics. The Summer Olympics were pushed back a year due to COVID-19, and the league will be looking to send over some of its top players to represent Team USA.
All Eyes on Upcoming Draft
The 2020 NBA Draft is set for Nov. 18, and this will be the first big event in the league, leading up to the new year. The NBA Draft traditionally takes place in June, but it has also been pushed back due to COVID-19.
Several top college prospects decided to return to school rather than face the uncertainty that surrounded the draft. There are still some terrific prospects available, and there is also a large pool of talented international players.
The Minnesota Timberwolves hold the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, and the Golden State Warriors will be drafting second. There has already been some talk of these two teams trading down, and it will be interesting to see what transpires over the next few weeks.
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