At last week’s NBA Board of Governors meeting, the league proposed a Christmas start date. That announcement came as a surprise after most reports indicated a January/February tip-off for the 2020-21 season, but over the past few days, the league is actually solidifying its expedited timeline.
As Marc Stein of The New York Times reports, Disney is keen on the NBA keeping its usual Christmas Day lineup of five games, which has become something of a holiday staple for basketball fans. Beginning the season in December instead of January would also result in $500 million additional revenue, making this almost a done deal for the league, provided the players’ union also agrees.
Although the NBPA has concerns about starting a season so close to the end of the last one, the benefit of resetting the NBA calendar, getting summers back, and allowing players to participate in international basketball would appear to outweigh those apprehensions.
The 2020 NBA Draft is already set to be conducted virtually on Nov. 18. Free agency could reportedly begin as soon as Nov. 20 or 21, and teams would gather for training camp by Dec. 1. That would allow the season to tip off on Dec. 22, giving TNT its traditional opening night double-header before a Christmas Day spectacular three days later. Presumably, the Clippers would play the Lakers on that day. It’s worth noting that the league still has to perform its audit of the 2019-20 season and set a salary cap for the next league year before any of this can proceed.
A shorter training camp could prove problematic for the Clippers, who have a new coach and new system to implement. One benefit is that the team probably won’t have any rookies, who will have a tougher time than usual to acclimate to the professional game with only a month between the draft and the start of the season.
The Clippers have likely been restless since their season came to an end in the Western Conference semifinals. With any luck, they won’t have to wait too much longer to wipe away those memories.
More news for Wednesday:
- Andrew Greif wrote about Ty Lue’s way with people.
- Steve Nash and the Brooklyn Nets have sky-high expectations. Does a Patrick Beverley for Spencer Dinwiddie + sweetener trade make sense for both teams?
- Keith Schlosser looked back at new Clippers assistant Dan Craig’s stint as a head coach for the Sioux Falls Skyforce.
- Sean Highkin examined if NBA stars would actually rest to start the season if play begins in December.
- Mo Dakhil picked which NBA players could have bounce back seasons in 2020-21.
- Congrats to the Los Angeles Dodgers, World Series Champions for the first time in 32 years!