Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is the latest NBA figure to discuss why the league should consider starting the regular season on Christmas Day, as he explained on ESPN’s The Jump with Rachel Nichols (Twitter link).
The current NBA season begins in mid-October and ends with the NBA Finals concluding in early June. The NBA draft happens shortly after that, with free agency commencing at the end of June and early July.
“I think you work backwards from next season,” Cuban said after being asked when he believes the league should release its official plans for the season. “I’ve always been a proponent of starting on Christmas Day when we go to broadcast. And so if you work backwards from there and say, ‘We want to have two months off for the draft and everything, for players to recover’, so you have all of November and all of October and we don’t have to finish (this season) until the end of September.”
If the league chooses to work backwards from next season and finish this campaign in September, the 2020/21 season likely won’t start until December. This could open a pathway toward a brand new schedule, so long as the league can overcome some of the various obstacles it will likely encounter.
Cuban also gave his opinion on whether we’ll see a traditional 16-team playoff format this year, which includes eight teams from the East and West.
“I don’t think it’ll be regular,” he said of this year’s format. “This is our chance to experiment and learn. Unique circumstances, unique opportunities. So I’m confident we’ll take advantage of it and do something differently. I just think that’s smart from a business perspective and I think the players want that too.”
Here are a few more items related to the NBA’s hiatus:
- Royce Young of ESPN details the role Thunder guard Chris Paul has played during the coronavirus pandemic, with Paul currently serving as president of the players’ union. The NBA season has been on hiatus for roughly two-and-a-half months to date.
- Steve Popper of Newsday makes the case for why only 16 teams should play in the event the NBA season is resumed. The league is planning a Thursday vote between the Board of Governors on how and whether to restart the season, with owners expected to approve a plan, according to an ESPN report.
- Alberto De Roa of HoopsHype discussed the EuroLeague’s decision to cancel the season and more with veteran forward Bostjan Nachbar, who believes the biggest fear from EuroLeague players was related to injuries following the long layoff — not COVID-19. Nachbar plays a key role in the EuroLeague Players Association, which was recently created to represent players across the league.