The NBA is one step closer to starting the 2020-2021 season after the players agreed to a 72-game season that will begin on December 22. The National Basketball Players Association board of representatives voted to approve the shortened season but said there are still additional details to be ironed out.
“The Board of Player Representatives of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) has tentatively approved a start date of December 22, 2020, for the 2020-2021 NBA season and a 72-game schedule. Additional details remain to be negotiated, and the NBPA is confident that the parties will reach agreement on these remaining issues relevant to the upcoming season.”
The players initially bristled at the proposal to start the season in December and wanted the league to push back the start until January or February of next year. They felt that the 51-days between the end of the NBA Finals and the proposed start date was not enough time for players to rest and prepare for the season.
The league was adamant about starting the season in 2020, with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver telling league executives and players that tipping off the season in 2021 could cost the league between $500 million and $1 billion. Those losses would be shared equally by the players and owners.
Under the proposed plan, the NBA finals would wrap up in July 2021, just before the start of the rescheduled Summer Olympics. It would also allow the NBA to play a full 82-game season next year.