Report: NBA considering 70-game season as part of July restart
The NBA is considering a shortened 70-game season, according to Mike Fisher of Sports Illustrated. The season would begin in July and lead to the playoffs in the summer.
While all potential solutions are “fluid,” a bevy of ideas will be presented to owners and executives before a plan is pitched to the National Basketball Players Association.
According to Fisher, these are some of the items up for discussion on the agenda:
- The July re-start of a season that would total 70 games. Contenders for the NBA Playoffs would get one last chance to jostle for position … and so would lottery teams. Additionally, there may be a contractual issue with teams’ local TV contracts that is tied to 70 games.
- If the realities of the pandemic do not allow for a July re-start, an August re-launch is is play – maybe a launch straight into the playoffs.
- There has been much speculation about one city housing all of the upcoming games. Orlando and Las Vegas are among the possibilities, but others will be proposed.
- The players who have left their home cities (or even left the country, as with Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic) would likely be given ample time to return, quarantine and acclimate.
This isn’t the first time the magic number “70” has been thrown around. Some teams must televise at least 70 games per season to meet the full criteria of their broadcasting contract — money that is absolutely necessary for teams to salvage any type of local revenue during this pandemic.
Location plays a big part, as NBA teams could be forced to wait until August to start, which would stretch the league too thin for regular-season games. Orlando (Disney World) and Las Vegas (MGM Grand) are the biggest puzzle pieces here, with Disney the current favorite to host.
Players will also have to have a Training Camp 2.0 to gear back into shape, considering most have been unable to leave their homes for the majority of the past two months, besides a few workouts at the recently re-opened team facilities.