With the start and end dates for the 2020/21 NBA season still very much up in the air, USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo is having a hard time planning for next year’s Olympics in Tokyo, as Chris Sheridan of BasketballNews.com writes. Colangelo tells Sheridan that Lakers forward LeBron James and other U.S. stars have conveyed interest in participating in those Olympics, but haven’t been able to commit to anything due to the uncertainty of the schedule.
“I was told the NBA season would start in December, and then it was Christmas, and then after January 1, and that keeps pushing the schedule for me,” Colangelo said. “The NBA season typically takes 170 or 171 days to complete, so that creates a conflict on paper.”
The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to begin on July 23, with qualifying tournaments for the final four spots in the men’s tournament set to tip off on June 29. If the ’20/21 season runs deep into the summer again, it will compromise the availability of NBA players for Team USA and other countries, but Colangelo remains hopeful that many of those players will be able to participate.
“If the (NBA) season conflicts with the Olympics, I might have 14 non-playoff teams to choose from, but then other players will become available as the NBA playoffs progress,” Colangelo told Sheridan. “The problem is that the ICO has a rule mandating an early submission of a 12-man roster. But with a pandemic, the hope would be that you’ve got to set aside outdated rules. I assume people will be reasonable and come up with some kind of a program that works.”
Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:
- The winner of the NBA Finals between the Lakers and Heat will earn $5,791,041 of this year’s league-wide playoff pool money, notes Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. The losing team will divvy up a $4,399,686 share.
- The NBA, which is hoping to play games in teams’ home arenas during the 2020/21 season, sent a 32-page manual to clubs outlining the cleaning and disinfecting protocols to “reset” those arenas, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).
- Former Pacers guard Joe Young is returning to the Chinese Basketball Association for the 2020/21 season, signing a deal with the Beijing Royal Fighers, as Nicola Lupo of Sportando relays. After spending three seasons in Indiana from 2015-18, Young has played for the Nanjing Monkey King in China for the last two years.