NBA commissioner Adam Silver says since there likely won't be a COVID-19 vaccine by the time the 2020-21 season starts, teams won't be able to have full arenas.
However, Silver did say “with appropriate protocols in terms of distancing, and advanced testing, you will be able to bring fans back into arenas” in a limited capacity, per David Aldridge of The Athletic.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says in press conference that while the likely lack of a vaccine before the end of 2020 won’t allow full arenas next season, "with appropriate protocols in terms of distancing, and advanced testing, you will be able to bring fans back into arenas."
— David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) October 1, 2020
Adam Silver also said the 2020-21 season will likely start in January of 2021. There was some hope within the NBA that the 2020-21 campaign could start in December of 2020 and the league isn't closing the doors on that possibility but it's highly unlikely at this point. One big reason for it is that players who participated in the Walt Disney Bubble need the appropriate time off to rest their bodies and mind.
It's still incredible the NBA was able to pull off the bubble at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The games started in July and there have been zero positive COVID-19 tests despite some players refusing to fully observe safety protocols. Silver and the rest of his team of associates deserve tremendous credit for making this all work after the season was initially suspended in March following Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert contracting the deadly virus.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat will square off in the 2020 NBA Finals. Silver has to be thankful the 2019-20 season was able to be completed. Now, the hope is that the league can start to have a few fans in attendance in 2020-21.