With the 2021 NBA Finals between the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks underway, the 2020-21 season will soon be coming to a close.
Although the NBA was able to complete the season, it did not come smoothly as various factors from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to the condensed schedule affected how the league was forced to operate.
The push to start the season on Christmas Day came from Commission Adam Silver and the league office as a way to recoup revenue, and according to the Associated Press via OC Register, the NBA did better than originally projected but will inevitably incur losses:
“Financially, for the season, without getting into it too specifically, we did somewhat better than we initially projected,” Silver said. “No question, the league will incur significant losses over the past two years. I will say though, I’m not here to complain about that. Just speaking for our team owners, they view it as a long-term investment in the league and something very necessary to keep these organizations going. And by the way, it was shared sacrifice by our players as well.”
Silver also acknowledged the injury issue that plagued every team:
“I have no doubt that the additional stress, again physical and emotional, on them contributes to injuries,” Silver said. “None of it is an exact science. It’s something that even pre-COVID, as you all know, we were very focused on at the league. We put people in place to focus exclusively on injury prevention. Precisely why we have the injuries we do is still unclear to us. It’s something that we’ll continue to study in the offseason. The trend line, unfortunately, has been going up for the last several years.”
Players like LeBron James have been vocal about their displeasure with the scheduling, and at this point, it is hard to disagree with his assessment. However, it is important to remember that the schedule and other considerations were agreed to by the NBPA, so both sides must shoulder the responsibility and burdens of the season.
Even though the league calendar returns to normal for the 2021-22 season, the after-effects of the past two seasons will still be felt, but hopefully, it results in a better overall experience for the league, the players, and the fans.
Mike Bass responds to LeBron James’ comments about 2020-21 season
James has never been shy when speaking his mind, and his comments about the injury-riddled 2020-21 season caused some ruckus. NBA spokesman Mike Bass responded to James’ comments, noting that injury rates were the same during the 2019-20 season.