Even though they haven’t yet finished their current year of play, the NBA is already looking at possibly delaying the start of next season.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought a halt to virtually all professional and amateur sports around the world. Nearly two months ago, the NBA was the first professional league to suspend its season after canceling a couple of games on March 11.
With no real way of knowing if the current season will resume and achieve completion, eyes are already looking ahead to 2020. ESPN is reporting that commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA board of governors are discussing a delayed start to the 2020-21 season, which wouldn’t have it begin until December.
The regular season for the NBA typically begins in October each year.
The main idea behind a possible delay of the start of next season would be to have more time to get fans in the seats. Governors around the country are looking at allowing professional sports to resume soon, but they would still have to play games with little to no fans in attendance.
The NBA feels as if they could have fans back in arenas and not lose additional revenue with the granting of extra time before next season. Not everyone on the board of governors feels as if fans would return by the end of the year.
One member told ESPN, “If you start in December, that doesn’t mean the people are coming back in December, but maybe, they’re back by March.”
Discussions will be ongoing, with no decision officially made for the start of the 2020 season. On Friday, the NBA board of governors did vote to postpone the draft lottery and draft combine, which were both slated for May dates in Chicago.
The 2020 NBA Draft is still on track to take place on June 25, but postponement is not out of the question. A final decision won’t be made on the draft until a bit more time passes. If things continue on this path, another vote would also be needed.
If the current NBA season does resume and doesn’t end until early fall, the next season would have to be delayed or even shortened.
On Saturday, the NFL announced they would release a full 17-game schedule next week. Commissioner Roger Goodell says there is no intention of delaying or altering any plans for the 2020 regular season. No changes will take place unless the coronavirus pandemic worsens in the coming months.