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In addition to the hope of vaccines, the league and several of its owners have been working with companies on fast-response tests that could economically and safely make crowds more feasible in the months ahead. "We're watching closely the development of antivirals," Silver said. "There's been some really positive reports about vaccines lately."
Jeff Zillgitt: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said No. 1 goal for next season is "having fans in arenas." From what I'm hearing, the league would love to see a vaccine available late this year, early next year to make it work.
NBA All-Star Weekend 2021 — scheduled for Feb. 12-14, 2021 in Indianapolis — will not be held as scheduled, an NBA spokesperson told Fieldhouse Files. “Given the uncertainty surrounding the schedule for the 2020-21 NBA season, we and the Indiana Pacers informed our hotel partners in Indianapolis that NBA All-Star 2021 is unlikely to take place on Presidents’ Day weekend so they could make other arrangements. More information about next season’s schedule, including NBA All-Star, will be announced at a later date.”
The NBA officially awarded Indianapolis its second All-Star weekend on Dec. 13, 2017. Since that time, they have created a host committee of more than 300 volunteers, provided grants up to $50,000 to 21 different youth-serving organizations across Indiana and renovations are ahead of scheduled at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indy first hosted the event in 1985. It was expected to have an estimated economic impact, based on previous host cities, of around $100 million.
News 8 has learned the 2021 NBA All-Star Game will not happen on its scheduled weekend in Indianapolis next year. Indianapolis was set to host the event on Presidents’ Day weekend next year but it looks like that won’t happen. Two sources, including Phil Ray, general manager of the JW Marriott, confirmed to WISH-TV Sports Director Anthony Calhoun that the NBA canceled its hotel contracts for that weekend in Indianapolis.
Rick Fuson, president and chief operating officer for Pacers Sports and Entertainment, issued this statement: We have been working with the NBA since 2017 to bring our fans and our city this world-class event, just as we did when we last hosted in 1985. While it appears All Star 2021 is unlikely to happen on Presidents’ Day weekend, we are excited about continuing to collaborate with the NBA as we look to the future.
“The play-in format is exciting,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said. “[But] I think with 82 games, that in itself warrants somebody getting in or not. So if I had to vote, I would vote no.” Said Frank Vogel, “I’ll leave that in Adam Silver’s hands. They do a great job of being innovative and trying to make the game better in any way they can. I typically am a traditionalist … but I’ll leave that in the league’s hands.”
Marc Stein: First-round playoff schedules from the NBA ... pic.twitter.com/4EEpmrWqA0

http://twitter.com/TheSteinLine/status/1294049508452716545
The NBA has told teams that the plan remains to start on Dec. 1, but pushing back that date would require a level of confidence that a delay would ultimately result in the reopening of arenas to the public. If so, the NBA would be willing to hold back the start -- perhaps even months. An opening night of Martin Luther King Jr. Day -- Jan. 18 -- is a consideration. February and March are realistic too if a combination of vaccines, therapeutics and rapid-response testing for COVID-19 could contribute to the possibility of public gatherings.
There's hope for vaccines, but the league has prepared teams for the reality that mass distribution would be unlikely for a full year, sources said. For now too there's a skepticism about the reliability of rapid-response testing. They're hopeful that advances in the technology could facilitate ways to get fans into arenas -- even if it means less than capacity. Teams are already modeling options that include a few thousand fans to buildings filled closer to capacity.
The NBA could reportedly delay the start of next season – currently planned for Dec. 1 – if fan attendance becomes foreseeable. How long would the league wait? Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times: one plan includes starting in March if the NBA feels they can get fans in the arena by then, as well as not lose personnel and viewership to the Summer Olympics.
Adrian Wojnarowski: NBA’s priority remains to get fans into arenas next season. Regional pods for extended periods are among brainstorms, but preference would be that those are finite in length, sources said. For example: A month or two inside, a month out. Early in planning; everything's on table.

https://twitter.com/wojespn/status/1288252855326060544
The first exhibition games of the NBA restart will go a little more quickly than usual. The NBA is tweaking the rules for those initial matchups, going with 10-minute quarters instead of the usual 12 minutes. The change is for several reasons -- among them, not wanting to overly tax players' bodies after they went more than four months without games, and because some teams do not yet have their full rosters at Walt Disney World because of coronavirus and other issues.
Exhibitions start with a four-game slate Wednesday and continue through July 28. Each team will play three exhibitions, and the last two for each club will have the traditional 12-minute quarters. Plans call for all 33 exhibitions to be televised by some combination of local TV, national TV, NBA TV or NBA League Pass. The league is still working on some of the specifics for the first games, including whether to give teams the option of wearing uniforms or practice gear.
The exhibitions will be helpful in breaking up the monotony of practice, Denver coach Michael Malone said, but he stressed that player health will come before anything else in those games. "The No. 1 thing for me is can we get through these three scrimmages healthy and not getting guys put in a position where they're overworked, playing too many minutes and getting hurt," Malone said. "I think the vast majority of the 22 teams will approach it the same way."
The NBA is closing in on signing off on a second "bubble" in Chicago for the eight teams that were not invited to play in Florida, enabling them to participate in a mini-training camp and subsequent games against other clubs with a target date of September, sources told ESPN on Thursday. The details are still being hammered out, and teams continue to push for an alternative plan that would enable them to hold mini-camps within their local markets and to explore the idea of establishing regional sites where teams could scrimmage against each other.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The NBA is closing in on signing off on a second “bubble” in Chicago for the eight teams that were not invited to play in Orlando, enabling mini-training camps and subsequent games against other clubs with a target date of September, sources tell ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan.
Cuban: “I hope for the NBA and I hope not for other sports, for obvious reasons. I’ve always been a proponent of starting on Christmas Day because that’s when we go to broadcast television. Whether it’s Christmas Day or possibly a little earlier, because part of the thought process is hopefully there’s a vaccine by then, and I’m one of these people that’s very confident that there will be. The science geek in me just reading it thinks that it’s highly likely that there will be. Now the question is the distribution of it and the more time we buy for distribution of the vaccine, the more likely when we start next season there’s an opportunity to not just have some fans but more fans than we otherwise might expect.”
Tim Reynolds: Disney restart breakdown: One back-to-back per team Games as early as 12:30 on weekends, 1 p.m. on weekdays. Games starting as late as 9 p.m. No games closer than four hours apart in the same arena. Ladies and gentlemen, the NBA is back.
Tim Reynolds: Using that metric -- counting only the games involving the 22 teams left -- here's who has the hardest schedule in the seeding round ... 1. Denver 2. Toronto 3. Lakers 4. Heat 5. Blazers ... and the easiest 18. Celtics 19. Nets 20. Magic 21. 76ers 22. Pelicans

https://twitter.com/ChrisBHaynes/status/1276655999420526592
The NBA today released its complete game schedule and national television schedules for TNT, ESPN, ABC and NBA TV for the “seeding games,” which will be played July 30 – Aug. 14 to tip off the resumption of the 2019-20 season. The 22 teams participating in the season restart will play eight seeding games each at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
During the season restart, there will be a maximum of seven seeding games per day across three venues at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Each team will be designated as the home team in four seeding games and the visiting team in four seeding games. The tip-off time for each team’s last seeding game, scheduled to be played on Aug. 13 or 14, will be determined at a later date in order to provide the most compelling matchups to a national audience.
Shams Charania: Sources: Travel dates for 22 NBA teams to Orlando: - July 7: Nets, Nuggets, Magic, Suns, Jazz, Wizards - July 8: Celtics, Mavericks, Clippers, Grizzlies, Heat, Pelicans, Thunder, Kings - July 9: Rockets, Pacers, Lakers, Bucks, 76ers, Trail Blazers, Spurs, Raptors
Is there anything you would have changed about the playoff format or the starting date for the 2021-22 NBA season? Mark Cuban: There is no perfect format. We could tweak it here or there, but I think we ended up with a solution that will definitely work. In terms of the starting day for next season, my preference is Christmas Day, but am OK with any time after Thanksgiving. With companies and schools changing their holiday schedule to effectively combine Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks as a means of reducing risk, I’m hopeful the NBA can use that time to not only start the season, but also to start to introduce fans to a home schedule. Again, it’s purely a hope.
Vincent Goodwill: Yahoo sources: NBA playoffs scheduled to begin on Aug.17. Friends and family can arrive on Aug 30. Conference Finals begin Sept 15. NBA Finals will begin Sept 30.
Ira Winderman: Adam Silver, on NBA schedule, says of next season, "Very tentatively we'd be looking to start next season in early December." Compares quick turnaround to those returning from Olympics and international competitions in previous years
Shams Charania: Sources: NBA's expected restart dates: - July 30-Aug. 14: Seeding games - Aug.15-16: Play-in tournaments - Aug. 17: Playoffs begin - Aug. 30: Family/guests of teams arrive - Aug. 31-Sept. 13: Conf. Semifinals - Sept. 15-Sept. 28: Conf. Finals - Sept. 30-Oct. 13: NBA Finals
Adrian Wojnarowski: Players traveling outside of the U.S. need to report by June 15 to team markets -- rest of players need to arrive by June 22, per sources.
Shams Charania: Health and safety: The NBA's required coronavirus testing window for teams: June 23-30, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
– The NBPA told players 2020-21 season starting on Dec. 1 is “unlikely” and plans to negotiate the date. – The NBPA informed players today that NBA/NBPA will conduct coronavirus testing every night, likely mouth swabs/light nasal swabs and not the full invasive nasal swab. Minimum seven days quarantine for a player if positive. – There could be crowd noise via NBA 2K video game sounds, but the NBA and NBPA is still discussing creative opportunities – Players are expected to return to full paychecks this summer, after taking a 25 percent reduction in May – There is a proposed 35-person travel party limit – There is an expected three-hour practice window for teams, with two courts and weight rooms in the convention center
Adrian Wojnarowski: Many of dates the NBA shared with teams today -- including Draft Lottery, Draft -- are considered tentative. The NBA and NBPA have a long list of financial and compeititve items to negotiate for the 2020-21 season, included with a Nov. 10 camp opening off an October 12 Game 7.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Some preliminary expectations on Orlando format, per sources: 16-day regular season - 5-to-6 games per day. Each team expected to play one back-to-back among its eight regular-season games. NBA Finals format expected to include games every other day during best-of-seven series.
There will be up to seven games per day played over roughly three weeks during the August regular season, which the NBA has branded "seeding games," and it is likely there will be weekday afternoon playoff games during the the first round. Sources say the league will use three different facilities at first to stage games -- The Arena, HP Field House and Visa Athletic Center, all at the Wide World of Sports Complex. As things progress, it will be reduced to two sites and then one.
Harrison Wind: So if the season does resume on July 31, there will have been 142 days in between games. There were 112 days in between Game 6 of the 2020 Finals and the first preseason game of the 2019-20 season.
Shams Charania: Sources: The NBA informed the Board of Governors of scheduled dates: - Training camp: June 30, July 7 travel to Orlando - 2019-20 season: July 31 - Free agency: Oct. 18 - 2020-21 targets: Nov. 10 training camp, Dec. 1 opening night (can remain fluid)
Mark Cuban offered his predictions on ESPN’s “The Jump”. First: Aug. 1 will likely be the latest date the NBA could restart its season without significantly hampering future seasons, Cuban said. To calculate his timeline, Cuban “works backward” from the 2020-21 season, which he is in favor of starting on Christmas, rather than in late October under the league’s traditional calendar.
“We can start playing in August, for that matter, because we don’t have all the travel restrictions,” Cuban said. “Everyone [will be] in probably one location. You don’t have to fly across the country, give everybody one day off. You can play multiple games in one day. You can compress it in ways we never were able to before, so I don’t think there’s a drop-dead date. … Starting by Aug. 1 in order to make it, so that gives us plenty of time.”
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is the latest NBA figure to promote the idea of permanently moving the start of the season to Christmas Day. "I've been saying that for 15 years," Cuban said on the "Pardon My Take" podcast. "And the reason I've been getting shot down is, there's this thing called HUT (households using televisions). And during the summer, that drops. ... In the past, that was a big deal. So you wanted to end (the NBA season) by June so you could maximize the people watching TV. "But ... TV's changed."
Mark Cuban believes the NBA can still salvage its 2019-20 season, despite it being suspended for two months and counting amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Dallas Mavericks owner pointed to Dec. 25 as the start date for next season and then said you just have to work backward for a potential timeline to resume this season. Most teams, Cuban said, would not be playing an extended schedule as there’s a limited number of teams that would advance through the playoffs.
Simply put, Cuban just wants the sport to return in some fashion. He believes the level of play will be just as good, if not better, than what NBA fans saw coming out of the 2011 lockout. “Anything we show is going to be better than what we have right now,” Cuban said. “It’ll be good enough, right? We just want our sports. We just want to root for the Mavs, the Cowboys, the Stars, the Rangers, etc. If it’s not perfect, I don’t think anybody is going to mind.”
Chris Haynes: Yahoo Sources: Adam Silver acknowledged there would be a “series of bad options” to decide on pertaining to teams on bubble of making playoffs. He couldn’t guarantee those teams would have a chance to earn a playoff berth if hiatus extends too far out.
Charania: The NBA regular season is approximately 80 percent complete, depending upon where each team is in its schedule. From what I’m told, the league was in line to generate nearly $9 billion in basketball-related income, and owners and team presidents estimate that canceling the rest of the season would result in $1-to-2 billion in losses. The NBA and its players agreed to reduce paychecks by 25 percent starting May 15, essentially serving as a reserve for if and when play resumes, and players can receive that amount back.
As ownership support grows for the idea, Commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA Board of Governors continued discussions Friday about delaying the start of the 2020-2021 season until December, sources told ESPN. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA's thinking and planning has progressed on the idea independent of whether the 2019-2020 season is resumed and completed, sources said.
As the uncertainty around the pandemic continues, the NBA is anticipating a number of potential obstacles in immediately returning fans to its arenas in the coming months and year. "If you start in December, that doesn't mean the people are coming back in December, but maybe they're back by March," one member of the board of governors told ESPN on Friday.
There's support for a 2020-2021 season that would start in December and extend through late July or August, sources said. Silver has been preparing teams for the possibility of a delayed start to next season, which would potentially address the league's longer-range concerns, whether this season is completed or not.
Silver has repeatedly told teams he remains determined for the season to culminate with a champion. Between now and then, if the league office had any doubts that decision-making would become painstaking and polarizing during these times, this past weekend reminded them of the scrutiny that awaits every decision. The process of simply reopening practice facilities for players to do brief, individual workouts turned into something of a back-and-forth between league and front-office executives.
For now, the NBA is still sorting out possible venues. The MGM Grand has been one of several suitors pitching a plan to host the league -- and perhaps the WNBA, too -- within three adjacent hotels, sources said. Some are proposing pod ideas spread across different regions. Team practice facilities have been discussed. The possibility of Disney World in Orlando, where there are basketball facilities and hotels, has gained momentum.
For a time, Las Vegas was the most popular idea for a proposed resumption of the NBA season: a bubble city of teams grinding out the playoffs within a quarantine of connected casino hotels and arenas. As time has passed, those talking with NBA commissioner Adam Silver find him still needing to be convinced Vegas is the best idea. For some of the league's most influential veteran star players, that's a reassuring notion because they're concerned about some younger teammates struggling with the patience required to properly fortify a bubble environment in Vegas.
According to people close to league discussions, the NBA’s planning committee, which features several team general managers, has been pitching the idea to start games around Christmas for quite some time. The idea stems from a variety of factors, including coaches and players complaining about too many games in a week, to lack of practice time, early ratings being impacted, and perhaps one of the most significant issues plaguing the NBA before the coronavirus pandemic: load management and rest.
The NBA has already discussed an in-season tournament if play can resume this summer, which Silver said requires more dialogue, but also added would be implemented at some point. One NBA executive said this is the opportunity to explore the concept for at least for one year, in what could be spectator-free arenas. The executive, who spoke to CNBC on condition of autonomy as the individual is not authorized to talk about the matter, suggested opening a new season via a tournament on Christmas.
According to one top-ranking league official, the NBA has explored concepts of concluding final games in Las Vegas, as the tournament would emulate famous overseas basketball cups like the Copa del Rey in Spain. In Las Vegas, the NBA already has built-in business relationships, and could recover some of the lost revenue via sponsorships and gambling dollars associated with a tournament, the executive said, adding a proposed sponsorship slogan for the one-and-done format. “The NBA Cup, where every game is a Game 7,” the individual said.
Barkley’s concerns are well founded, which is why, according to sources primed on the ongoing talks, the hope is that immediate family members would be able to accompany their NBA-playing relatives to Las Vegas.
It’s been over a month since the NBA suspended its season because of the coronavirus threat. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said the hard part about the NBA returning will be trying to have fans in attendance. “It’s no question that’s the hard part. Because when are people going to feel confident enough to go to big gatherings? It’s going to be difficult to start off with 25 people let alone 15,000," Cuban said in an interview with TMZ. "We’re just going to have to defer to the scientists, the doctors who will tell us what we need to do to get the arenas in shape to be able to accept people and for those people to have confidence.
The N.B.A. has repeatedly made it clear that it needs the approval of government and public health officials to resume operations. If you wish to maintain an optimistic tone amid the mounting pessimism in league circles and imagine such approval could be granted as early as June 1, that would still mean nearly three full months of inactivity for N.B.A. players. David Griffin, the executive vice president of basketball operations for the New Orleans Pelicans, neatly summed up the challenges posed by such a lengthy shutdown during a recent conference call with reporters. “I think there would be a pretty unanimous sentiment that the longer we’re out,” Griffin said, “the longer we’re going to need.”
The N.B.A. has repeatedly made it clear that it needs the approval of government and public health officials to resume operations. If you wish to maintain an optimistic tone amid the mounting pessimism in league circles and imagine such approval could be granted as early as June 1, that would still mean nearly three full months of inactivity for N.B.A. players. David Griffin, the executive vice president of basketball operations for the New Orleans Pelicans, neatly summed up the challenges posed by such a lengthy shutdown during a recent conference call with reporters. “I think there would be a pretty unanimous sentiment that the longer we’re out,” Griffin said, “the longer we’re going to need.”
Speaking Monday night on an Instagram Live session with Cayleigh Griffin and television partner AT&T SportsNet Southwest, Morey said: People aren’t going to be back in NBA shape. My guess — and this is up to the commissioner and the plans they’re putting together — is we’re going to have to shorten any plans to a tighter window than people are going to be comfortable with. The reality is, it’s not going to make that big of a difference. You want to get the quality [of play] high enough, but because everyone’s going to be dealing the same ramp up [in activity], there won’t be any relative advantage developed between the teams. Maybe even the first couple of games aren’t perfect, but both teams are going to be dealing with the same thing. … We’re all going to have to do our best in a probably shortened time period.
Speaking Monday night on an Instagram Live session with Cayleigh Griffin and television partner AT&T SportsNet Southwest, Morey said: People aren’t going to be back in NBA shape. My guess — and this is up to the commissioner and the plans they’re putting together — is we’re going to have to shorten any plans to a tighter window than people are going to be comfortable with. The reality is, it’s not going to make that big of a difference. You want to get the quality [of play] high enough, but because everyone’s going to be dealing the same ramp up [in activity], there won’t be any relative advantage developed between the teams. Maybe even the first couple of games aren’t perfect, but both teams are going to be dealing with the same thing. … We’re all going to have to do our best in a probably shortened time period.
Various ideas have been floated by players and executives. One is to consider using a sprawling casino property in Las Vegas, where everything could be held under one roof. Others have suggested playing in the Bahamas, where a ballroom could be converted into a playing court specifically for broadcast. There has even been talk of taking over a college campus in the Midwest, where reported cases of COVID-19 are lower for the moment.
As COVID-19, the coronavirus, spreads across the U.S., the NBA is preparing for the possibility of playing a summer schedule for the first time in league history. There is resounding ownership support for finding a way to finish the season, NBA officials told SI.com, even if that means re-starting the season in late June, even if that pushes the Finals into September. Some estimates have the NBA losing as much as $1 billion in a lost season, an eye popping number team owners desperately want to bring down.
The NBA could also test elements of its planned in-season tournament, which Silver said he “strongly” believes will be incorporated in the coming years. NBA sources told CNBC the league has already floated the idea of using Las Vegas as the final location for a possible in-season tournament.
“The only reason we haven’t played games after June 12 in the past is because our TV partners [see] HUT’s—homes using television—drop significantly,” Cuban said in a recent interview. “Well the TV landscape has changed dramatically over the last three-four years.” The conventional thinking: the weather gets warmer, fewer people watch television, ratings plummet. And they do. But some television executives see any ratings drop reflecting the lack of effort often put into summer programming as the timing of it. Broadcast networks pull top rated scripted shows off the air in the spring and bring them back in the fall.
Several players told SI.com that they would be open to a summer schedule, provided it resulted in a boost in revenue. “Money talks,” texted one veteran player. The current collective bargaining agreement expires in 2024. The NBA’s rights deals expire in 2025, creating, perhaps, a window for the league to explore a change.
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