The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic forced the NBA to halt the 2019-20 season for four months. Although the NBA was able to reconvene the season and 2020 NBA Playoffs, it caused them to alter the 2020-21 season schedule.
The Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA Championship on Oct. 11 but did not have much time to celebrate as they were only afforded 71 days of rest before the beginning of the 2020-21 campaign. The new season began on Christmas Day and officially wrapped up when the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Phoenix Suns in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on July 20.
The league was deadset on ensuring the season did not interrupt the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but that also pushed the rest of the offseason events like the 2021 NBA Draft and free agency back. Despite the delays, the upcoming 2021-22 season will see a sense of normalcy regarding the calendar, and key dates were recently released via the NBA.
Key dates for the 2021-22 NBA season ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/nbwcIvRHZH
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) July 27, 2021
Free agency will be a whirlwind as several high-profile names are reportedly in the mix to be moved, while the NBA’s annual Summer League makes its return after being canceled last year. Both will surely hold over basketball-starved fans until the start of training camp in September.
However, much to the relief of players and their teams, the 2021-22 season will tip-off on Oct. 19, a start date in line with a normal calendar year. The season will run until April 10, and there will be a short break before the NBA play-in tournament begins on April 12. The play-in tournament was recently approved for another season and appears as though it will become a permanent fixture after the thrilling game between the Lakers and Golden State Warriors this past season.
With a regular schedule confirmed, the Purple and Gold can focus on getting the proper rest and recovery needed to start the new season off strong and get back on top as champions.
Lakers 2021-22 preseason schedule released
Aside from the 2021-22 calendar, the Lakers’ preseason schedule was also released. Los Angeles will play six games against the Brooklyn Nets, Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors, and Sacramento Kings.