If you’re an absolute basketball junkie, and/or someone who wants to see the next phase of development in the NBA, then the news of the 2021 G League season schedule dropping Wednesday may be of interest.
As widely reported previously, the G League will go to a bubble format for the upcoming season, with the final location of Orlando (surprise! Not really) as the destination. That means we are likely to see fixed or fixed-ish rosters for the 15-game regular season, since it’s a lot harder for two-way players to move back and forth while traveling from Florida to California, during a pandemic.
18 teams will play, and the Agua Caliente Clippers will play 15 different opponents in the regular season, tipping off on Feb. 11 against Rio Grande Valley. They’re scheduled to play the new exhibition team for young pros who want to bypass college, Team Ignite, on Mar. 3.
The top eight finishers in the regular season will go to the playoffs, which will be March Madness single-elimination style.
If you want to watch the 2021 G League season, games will be streamed on ESPN+, live and on demand, with the Team Ignite matchup airing on ESPNU. I know I’ll be checking them out along the way.
More news for your Thursday:
- All-Star Voting begins today: Voting for the All-Star teams begins at 9 am PT Thursday, and fans can vote on NBA.com, the NBA app or on Twitter using the hashtag #NBAAllStar with either a player’s handle or #FirstNameLastName. You can find more info through the NBA, and the league says they are in the process of still figuring out if and how they’d do an All-Star Game this season, but there will be All-Stars named regardless.
- The challenges of life on the road: Aside from the prevalent dangers around contracting coronavirus, ESPN peeled back a layer of how different road trips are this season and it sounds like all of the bad parts of traveling and none of the good parts.
- Some buyout pickup options: The Athletic doesn’t really talk up the Clippers’ chances of getting any future buyout players this season, in part because they’re close to the hard cap limit, but they do connect a slew of players, in theory, to the Clips.
- NBA pundit Sekou Smith dies: If you watch the NBA, you almost certainly know of the name of Sekou Smith, the reporter and analyst who was a fixture on several outlets, including NBA TV. He died this week from coronavirus, at 48 years old. Tributes from all around the league have been pouring in to a man universally admired. Condolences to his family and friends.