Less than two weeks ago, the NBA gained traction toward starting next season on Dec. 22, just in time for Christmas. However, the NBPA players union would rather have the season start around Jan. 18, or Martin Luther King Jr. Day, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
One of the reasons why the players are pushing back against the league is rather simple. Two teams: the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat were playing games into October, yet they may have to report to training camp in December if such a start were approved.
Players are also against a 50-game regular season with a January start where their salaries could be significantly reduced. And since it’s unlikely that fans would be in arenas for much of the 2020-21 season anyway, that will also hurt the owners’ pockets.
If there is good news from this situation, it’s that the team owners and the players’ union are still committed to resolving their financial differences and the timing of next season (and future seasons). After all, the NBA learned the hard way that summer playoff basketball isn’t a ratings winner and next year is also an Olympic year.
To this point in NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s six-year tenure, he has had a very good working relationship with the players. There have been no lockouts and the money has been flowing. But now that the league has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, he’s inevitably butting heads with the players given his role to also represent team owners given the situation in the world right now.
Given that the players and the team owners are clashing at the moment, I think that next season will ultimately be shorter than 72 games but more than the 50 that was proposed earlier. And I also don’t think the season will start by Christmas, especially since the biggest wave of the coronavirus yet is underway.
Do you still want the season to start in December when some players are pushing back openly? And do you think games should be going on in an open environment where the coronavirus could be unleashing its fury in many cities? Let us know in the comments below.