With momentum building for the NBA to move the calendar up and bypass the chance to host fans for a full 82 games, the league’s Board of Governors will reportedly meet on Friday to discuss beginning the 2020-21 season as soon as Christmas Day.
The report comes from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Zach Lowe and Brian Windhorst, who indicate many team governors are growing impatient with the idea of waiting all the way until the spring, when it might be more feasible to make money on ticket sales and other gameday revenue, rather than starting sooner and getting back on track for the traditional July-June league year.
The push for a Christmas Day start to the 2020-21 NBA season, which would naturally please the league’s TV partners, is gaining momentum, league sources say
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) October 23, 2020
Returning by either Christmas or a few weeks later for Martin Luther King Jr. weekend would give the league its marquee television broadcast days and catch fans during a time of year when they are likely more used to tuning into the NBA. As a result, ESPN reports, the league could also consider playing a shortened season that would also help put them on a path toward playing the postseason and Finals in the late spring and early summer.
Though the team governors will meet this week and have done so several times since the Lakers were crowned champions, ESPN reports that Oct. 30 is shaping up to be a “key date.” That is the latest deadline the league and the players’ association put in place to strike a deal to amend the Collective Bargaining Agreement and create rules for next season.
It appears the two sides are making progress on a salary cap and other logistics, but Oct. 30 would also likely be the latest the league could wait before giving teams the green light for training camps if Christmas Day were indeed to become tip-off day. Putting everything in motion to start in just over two months seems like an aggressive timeline, but it’s clear the league is more seriously considering starting sooner than later.