With the NBA considering the possibility of resuming its season in June and potentially completing the NBA Finals in August, ESPN’s Bobby Marks laid out on Twitter how the league’s calendar could hypothetically change for the 2020/21 league year if the NBA decided to push everything back.
As Marks detailed, a new experimental calendar might look something like this:
- Mid-June: Start of playoffs
- Early August: NBA Finals
- Late August: Draft
- September 1: Start of free agency
- September 10: Fall league (In place of Summer league)
- December 10: Training camps open
- December 25: 82-game regular season begins
- Mid-June: Regular season ends
That calendar is almost exactly the one Hawks CEO Steve Koonin proposed earlier this month at the Sloan Conference, as we noted last week. Koonin’s argument was that pushing everything back by a couple months would result in less overlap between the NBA and NFL seasons and would increase the amount of time that MLB regular season games are the NBA’s only competition among the four major sports.
Of course, Koonin didn’t have the current situation in mind when he put forth his proposal, but depending on how the coronavirus spread plays out, the layoff may line up in a way that allows the NBA to test the idea if the league doesn’t want to shorten the 2020/21 season too.
NBA reporters and fans who responded to Koonin’s proposal and Marks’ tweet have had mixed opinions. Many have pushed back against losing the summer break that typically follows free agency and Summer League play in July, August, and September. This schedule would also limit NBA players’ ability to participate in international offseason competitions, such as the Olympics or World Cup.
Still, there has been a good amount of support for the idea. The fall is one of the busiest times in sports, with the MLB and MLS postseasons happening, as well as the NHL and NFL regular seasons. Pushing the NBA’s opening night back to December would mean avoiding much of that overlap and turning the Christmas Day showcase into an event that occurs at or near the start of the regular season. Plus, as Marc Stein of The New York Times tweets, many NBA teams would actually be in favor of their players not participating in offseason events like the Olympics.
At this point, even with the NBA’s hiatus threatening to upend this year’s schedule, the idea of making a permanent change to the league’s calendar is probably just a pipe dream. But we want to know what you think.
Would you be in favor of shifting the entire NBA calendar back by about six-to-eight weeks on a permanent basis? Or do you prefer the current setup?
Vote in our poll, then head to the comment section below to share your thoughts!
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