The NBA put the finishing touches on a successful restart in the Orlando bubble by avoiding any major setbacks with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic en route to crowning the Los Angeles Lakers as champions.
Now the league has quickly shifted gears toward determining a new timeline for the 2020-21 season. Although the 2020 NBA Draft is scheduled for November 18, an exact date for free agency in early December still has yet to be set in stone.
Furthermore, reports have since surfaced regarding the NBA’s preference to start the 2020-21 season on December 22. It appears not everyone with the Lakers is too thrilled about the potential date.
Danny Green feels that teams with plenty of veterans like the Lakers won’t be fully recovered and he suggested LeBron James would sit out the first month, per “The Ringer NBA Show”:
“December 22nd is not even in my mind. I think if we start in December, most guys are going to be like, ‘I’m not going to be there.’ If I had to guess, because we have a lot of vets on our team — it’s not like we have young guys and rookies, we probably have three or four young guys or rookies. If we’re fortunate enough to bring the same team back, we have ‘Do who’s on Year 15, Dwight is in Year 16, ‘Bron is Year 18 and JaVale, Year 17. These guys just played a whole season. ‘Bron has been in the Finals 10 years out of his 17 years, which is unbelievable mentally. It’s draining to do that.
“To have that quick of a restart, I wouldn’t expect to see him there. I wouldn’t expect to see him the first month of the season. He’ll probably be working out with us, but I just don’t expect guys to want to be there or show up willingly. It might be different in two weeks.”
There is certainly plenty of truth to Green’s comments given the veteran personnel that makes up the hulk of the Lakers’ roster. Teams that took part in a deep playoff run in the bubble following an unprecedented season due to the ongoing pandemic will now be left with little time to recover for a new season.
The league has seemingly created some sense of urgency in order to not only finish the 2020-21 campaign before the Olympics, but potentially revert the schedule back to its original timeline for the following season. Regardless, Green’s comments indicate that they could be dealing with some pushback on their plans for December.
Michele Roberts believes NBA may need bubble for 2020-21 season
On top of having to quickly get back to work following a 72-day break, NBPA executive director Michele Roberts acknowledged the prospect of teams going back into a bubble for next season.
Players openly discussed the challenged that came with life in the bubble and made it clear that was not something they wanted to replicate moving forward.
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