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NBPA chief Michele Roberts drops strong statement about proposed Dec. 22 start date

nbpa, michele roberts

The NBA is reportedly aiming for a start date for the 2020-21 season on December 22, beginning the year just before Christmas Day in a few short months.

However, the NBA Players Association originally wanted to push for a starting date of January 18, and a recent report from Shams Charania of The Athletic detailed exactly what the NBPA is planning to do for its counter-proposal – which is due by Friday, October 30.

“The union and the players are analyzing all of the information and will not be rushed,” NBPA executive director Michele Roberts told The Athletic in Charania’s story. “We have requested and are receiving data from the parties involved and will work on a counterproposal as expeditiously as possible. I have absolutely no reason to believe that we will have a decision by Friday. I cannot and will not view Friday as a drop dead date.”

The NBA debuted its plan for a 72-game slate to the 2020-21 season, with training camps starting as soon as December 1 – an extremely truncated period of rest for teams that were involved in the bubble – especially the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers and runner-up Miami Heat.

Roberts continued with more details from the players:

“Given all that has to be resolved between now and a Dec. 22 date, factoring that there will be financial risks by a later start date, it defies common sense that it can all be done in time. Our players deserve the right to have some runway so that they can plan for a start that soon. The overwhelming response from the players that I have received to this proposal has been negative.”