The NBA community can still feel the ripple effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which disrupted the 2019-20 season and led to some disagreement over when the 2020-21 campaign should begin and how it can be carried out.
The NBA pushed for a December 22 start despite the hectic off-season schedule. The 2020 Draft is penciled in for mid-November and free agency is set to start shortly after.
An unnamed team official has said the planned pre-Christmas start of the 2020-21 season is the most optimal choice for the league.
But executive director of the National Basketball Players Association Michele Roberts struck a more cautious tone when weighing in on the matter during an interview with USA Today’s Mark Medina:
“I don’t know what I think yet,” Michele Roberts, the executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, told USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday. “We are in the throes of discussing it and in the throes of evaluating what it means in terms of the revenue-related issues that have been raised. Frankly, we’re also spending some time trying to get information on what this means in respect to player health.”
“I don’t know how much rest guys just left the bubble need before they restart,” Roberts said. “I also don’t know how much runway everybody needs in order to get into camp. I need to have the players and those people that deal with the physiology of the professional athlete help me understand that.”
Roberts’ words echo recent comments from Danny Green about the potential impact a December start could have on team rosters.
The Lakers guard suggested LeBron James and his other veteran teammates could miss the first month of games if the league returned after just eight weeks from the end of the NBA Finals.
2021 All-Star Weekend likely to be scrapped
With the 2020-21 season poised for a December 22 tip-off, next season’s NBA All-Star Game could reportedly fall victim to the unforgiving scheduling and pandemic.
League officials are said to be considering carrying out a 72-game regular season with a two-week break at the halfway mark.
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