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Report: League eyeing December 22 start, 72-game season

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NBA: Finals-Los Angeles Lakers at Miami Heat Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

While the 2019-20 NBA season just wrapped up and we could all probably use a breather, it looks like the NBA wants to get the ball rolling again in just under two months’ time, per a report from The Athletic’s Shams Charania:

Although commissioner Adam Silver previously stated the league might wait until January or sometime shortly thereafter in 2021, the financial ramifications of missing out upon the Christmas Day television slate and something approaching a full season appear too large to ignore:

Circling back, I love that the NBA is concerned about players still being able to participate in the Olympics. The Tokyo Games, originally scheduled for this past summer and now slated to begin July 23, 2021, should feature some amazing basketball. The top stars were mostly all planning to participate and other countries have significantly closed the talent gap versus the USA squad. Sixers fans deserve to see Ben Simmons with the Boomers.

However, one ripple effect of the truncated season might be missing out on the All-Star game.

Last season’s All-Star game under the new format was widely praised and definitely made for more intense competition (props to the Elam Ending). It would certainly be a shame to miss out on it, but I’m sure fans could live with its absence given the circumstances. Maybe the league could still organize 3-point and slam dunk contests to take place after the season?

A couple other notable items courtesy of The Athletic:

  • NBA wants to continue using the play-in tournament for the eighth seeds in each conference.
  • League prefers in-market to bubble play, but may try to reduce travel by playing multiple games against the same team, playing the Knicks and Nets back-to-back, etc.

The league and NBPA still have plenty to work out, including salary cap and luxury tax figures given the reduced revenue caused by the pandemic. Stay tuned.

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