The NBA Board of Governors have some important decisions to make in regards to the 2020-21 season and when it will start.
Commissioner Adam Silver along with the board will hold a meeting on Friday to discuss an exact date to start the season, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Brian Windhorst, and Zach Lowe, along with the possibility of shortening the upcoming season in order to allow the league to get back on its normal October–June schedule.
ESPN reporting with @WindhorstESPN, @ZachLowe_NBA and me on NBA Board of Governors meeting underway today to discuss plans for 2020-21 season, including possible start date as soon as Christmas Day: https://t.co/1ZR9ESSy7r
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 23, 2020
Be that as it may, an oft-rumored date for the new season to commence—that will evidently be brought up once more on Friday—is Christmas Day. While this gives many fans and spectators surely a grand amount of excitement at the thought of basketball returning after only ending earlier in October, this would also create a microscopic window for teams to facilitate trades while also negotiating free agent terms in the offseason.
Marc Stein of the New York Times reports the Christmas Day kickoff to the 2020-21 NBA season is picking up momentum.
The push for a Christmas Day start to the 2020-21 NBA season, which would naturally please the league's TV partners, is gaining momentum, league sources say
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) October 23, 2020
Silver and the NBA office had once stated that another target date could also be next year on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which would put the start of the season on Jan. 18, slightly less than a month after Christmas. Many teams have championed to keep the same 82-game schedule as they enter a tentative 2020-21 season due to COVID-19 and the uncertainties that surround it.
Perhaps instead of an 82-game schedule, there will be something closer to 72 games, as Yahoo Sports’ Vincent Goodwill reports.
The league is pushing for a Christmas Day start in the board of governors meeting, according to sources. Would still need PA’s approval. Discussing a 72-game schedule
— Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) October 23, 2020
Another aspect that pushes the MLK targeted date to the forefront is that it allows the possibility of fans to be in attendance for games rather than the bubble-like arenas that the NBA experimented with in the Walt Disney World bubble. While successful in preventing any positive cases, the NBA also saw its lowest ratings in recent years, which possibly could be attributed to the absence of fans in arenas.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that Dec. 22—three days prior to Christmas Day—is now being discussed as the start of the 2020-21 NBA season.
The NBA is targeting Dec. 22 for the start of the 2020-21 season and a 72-game campaign that finishes before the ‘21 Olympics, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 23, 2020
Another important factor could be finishing before the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan—moved from this past summer to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Charania also reports the eighth-seed play-in tournament (which saw the Western Conference’s Portland Trail Blazers defeat the Memphis Grizzlies in the bubble) is being discussed to stay on for the 2020-21 season.