It took a few extra months to get to the finish line of the 2019/20 season. The starting point of next season is now shrouded in mystery.
As we noted earlier today, there’s great uncertainty regarding next season’s schedule.
In June, the league projected a December 1 start to next season. In September, the league office told the league’s Board of Governors the season wouldn’t start until after Christmas. There were projections that the season might start as late as March.
That all changed during a Board of Governors meeting last week, as the league’s finance committee recommended a pre-Christmas start date. Naturally, Christmas Day is normally a showcase for the league with a handful of games spread throughout the holiday but the revenue concerns come more at the back end than the front end.
The restart playoffs were a TV ratings dud, as fans were not accustomed to watching regular season and postseason games during the summertime and early fall. There’s also a strong desire among the league’s power brokers to have some sense of normalcy by the 2021/22 season, with that season beginning with a usual starting point in late October.
However, selling the players on this plan won’t be a slam dunk, particularly among the playoff participants. During a TV interview on Monday, Lakers guard Danny Green predicted numerous players would sit out the early portion of the season, adding that “I wouldn’t expect [LeBron James] to be there for the first month of the season.”
A quick turnaround would also make it much less likely to have fans in the stands as well as shortening the free agency period following the November draft. On the flip side. an earlier start date could preserve as much as $500MM in revenue, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
That leads us to our question of the day: Should the NBA start next season around Christmas in order to finish earlier in the summer? Or should the league wait until later in the winter in order to give the players more rest and increase the chances of having fans in the stands?
Please take to the comments section to weigh in on this topic. We look forward to your input.