Despite some reports, the NBA planned to start the 2020-21 season as late as March, the latest update contradicted that schedule, with Christmas Day now a possibility for games to begin.
ESPN first announced the latest news, which precedes the Board of Governors meeting on Friday. There are also indications that next season could be less than 82 games and not include fans in the arena.
It’s also possible that the season will start even earlier than Christmas, with the NBA league office advising its board of governors that the projected value of a December 22 departure would be over $ 500 million, according to Athletic’s Shams Charania. The league and the players’ association discussed the December 22 proposal.
This is all still up in the air, but the direction of things is interesting. Starting the season earlier would help the league move closer to preserving its traditional fall-summer schedule. And that could help dramatically with TV ratings, which have plummeted this season.
There are plenty of theories as to why the ratings are dropping, but the fact that the NBA had to compete more directly with other leagues playing at the same time certainly didn’t help, especially the NFL which is the No.1 sport. in America.
The NBA generally gets a big spotlight during the later stages of the playoffs with the NBA Finals happening in late June. Until then, they only compete with Major League Baseball, among the four major sports.
Maintaining a more traditional schedule would also help align things better with the college basketball season, which is important for the annual NBA Draft. And that could keep the offseason in the summer, which many players would prefer.
Given this sudden change of course, there may be more twists and turns before the league comes to a deal. But it looks like the season could start sooner than expected and that’s a good thing for anyone who loves basketball.