The NBA’s 2021/22 regular season will tip off on October 19, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter links). According to Charania, the league sent a memo to teams today to inform of that date and several others, confirming that the annual calendar will return to normal next season.
Per Charania, some of the other key dates are as follows:
- September 28, 2021: Training camps begin
- April 16, 2022: Playoffs begin
- June 2, 2022: NBA Finals begin
- June 19, 2022: Last possible date for NBA Finals (Game 7)
- June 23, 2022: NBA draft
The coronavirus pandemic resulted in a disruption to the NBA’s usual schedule, leading to a shortened offseason in both 2020 and 2021. There was some talk last year about the possibility of the league embracing the change and moving its calendar back by a couple months on a permanent basis, but that talk quickly subsided, particularly when TV ratings were down for last year’s playoffs, which took place in the summer.
ESPN’s Baxter Holmes noted this week that a decision was collectively made by the NBA, the players’ union, and the league’s TV network partners to get the annual schedule back to normal as quickly as possible rather than doing so slowly over the course of a few years. Today’s memo to teams confirms that will happen in 2021/22.