The NBA league office informed the Board of Governors on a call today that the 2020/21 regular season won’t begin before Christmas Day, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).
Back in June, the NBA penciled in a tentative start date of December 1 for the ’20/21 campaign, but the NBPA never agreed to that proposal, which always seemed overly optimistic, as commissioner Adam Silver acknowledged last month.
The NBA’s goal is to have as many fans back in arenas as possible next season, as early as possible, so the league is somewhat motivated to be patient. That could mean pushing next season’s start date into the new year in the hopes that more effective treatments and/or tests – or even a vaccine – for the coronavirus will be developed.
While December 25 is typically a huge day for the NBA, with a five-game schedule featuring many of the league’s marquee teams, previous reports have indicated that the league has discussed the possibility of starting next season as late as March.
The situation – including a proposed draft date of November 18 – remains fluid for now, with nothing finalized, according to Charania. Both the league and the players’ union will have to sign off on new dates for the draft, free agency, and the 2020/21 season.