Kevin O’Connor: Sources: The NBA held a call this afternoon with team GMs & presidents to detail the plan for a 72-game season set to begin December 22 & end before the Olympics in July. The league intends to schedule games in a way that reduces travel by 25% with teams playing MLB style series.
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Bobby Marks: There’s a path to getting a deal done between both sides but it’s going to take the players association to sell their members on why a 12/22 start is critical when it comes to future revenue. Starting in mid-January would be detrimental to the economic growth of the league.
With the NBA’s owners proposing to start next season around Christmas, should the players view it as an early holiday present? Or would they like to return the gift? “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.”
Tatum said the NBA is still working through the auditing process with the National Basketball Players Association. The parties also need to agree on a start date for the next season. Tatum said the league learned a lot from its bubble environment and envisioned new capabilities because of 5G availability, which wireless carriers have been installing in sports arenas and stadiums around the country.
No decisions have been finalized on next season and talks with the National Basketball Players Association remain ongoing on many matters, including the financial parameters for the coming year. Those talks, especially on the money issue, would have to be concluded before any real decisions about next season are made. The NBPA has not made any final decisions on how it wants to see the league proceed, either. But this plan, starting in December and ending in June, would get the 2021-22 season — virus-permitting — back to normal, with 82-game slates starting in October.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA is proposing several changes to next season that includes a 72-game regular season, a play-in tournament and the likelihood of no All-Star Game and All-Star Weekend in Indianapolis, sources said. The league is considering a two-week break at the midway point of the season, sources said.
Around the league, there’s support to be playing again by Christmas, but a realization that it’s going to become a chaotic challenge coming out of a Nov. 18 draft, free agency and training camps that would need to be open shortly after Thanksgiving. Without a bubble environment, the NBA will be facing positive coronavirus tests for players and staff.
Josh Lewenberg: The Raptors remain hopeful they’ll be able to host games in Toronto next season, I’m told. Several contingency options have been discussed internally, in case thats not possible, but nothing’s imminent. Much is still unknown. Louisville was never on the table for the organization
Chris Mannix: A concern several team executives have expressed to @SInow about a late December start: Free agency. With training camps needing to open in early December, free agency would have to be crammed into a couple of weeks.
Chris Mannix: Something league officials are wary of: There have been predictions from health officials of significant COVID spikes over the holidays, specifically Thanksgiving. Coming back in a non-bubble environment may not be feasible in some parts of the country.
This would mean a return close to the NBA’s normal schedule, significant financial ramifications to start early, a potential finish before the 2021 Summer Olympics, and allow a window for stars to play in the Olympics, sources said. The NBA wants to continue to incorporate the play-in tournament that was utilized in the Orlando restart to determine the eighth seed in the Eastern and Western Conference playoffs, according to sources. ESPN first reported that a Christmas start and playing fewer than 82 games would be discussed on Friday’s call.
The National Basketball Players Association would need to sign off on any plan to start the season on Dec. 22. Around the NBA, league governors and executives — as well as star players — have become aware of the league aiming toward a start around Christmas Day, which is quicker than expected following an Oct. 11. end to the season. An increasing amount of those people also have warmed to the possibility due to the fact that it is in the best interest of returning to the NBA’s typical schedule, generating revenue.
“It may be too quick, but it also makes too much sense,” one high-ranking team official told The Athletic. The NBA suspended its season on March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic, restarted on July 30 and crowned the 2019-20 champion this month. The league had no players test positive for the coronavirus during the four-month resumption.
USA Basketball has begun reaching out to star players to gauge their interest in the Olympics, should the end date of the 2020-21 season provide ample time to prepare for the Games, sources said. The NBA continues to prefer in-market play for the 2020-21 season — instead of a bubble or multiple bubbles. The league is also looking into ways to reduce travel during the season, including possibly playing a team multiple times.
Shams Charania: The NBA is targeting Dec. 22 for the start of the 2020-21 season and a 72-game campaign that finishes before the ‘21 Olympics, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.
Marc Stein: The league had never taken a Christmas Day start off the table, but all signs coming out of the Bubble pointed to next season being pushed into 2021 Christmas is obviously a huge day for the NBA and its broadcast partners … but MUCH must happen quickly quickly to preserve it
The NBA is focusing on Martin Luther King Day (Jan. 18) for a start date next season, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
It hasn’t been decided whether the NBA can implement a full 82-game schedule, especially with an emphasis on getting some level of attendance in areas and upholding the recently-developed standards concerning player rest, cutting down on the back-to-backs and heavy travel. The focus for next season, primarily, is getting things finished in a reasonable amount of time for the draft, free agency and rest in the summer of 2021 for a traditional mid-October start.
As of right now, Silver believes that the 2020-21 season will begin in January sometime and hopes it’ll be in a more normal fashion. “My sense is there will be some sort of return to normalcy,” Silver added. “That those messages will largely be left to be delivered off the floor. And I understand those people who are saying ‘I’m on your side, but I want to watch a basketball game,'” Silver said.
Jared Weiss: Adam Silver to @Rachel__Nichols: “I think the issue is with daily testing and rapid testing, can you contain (COVID) so it doesn’t rapidly spread.” He is continuing to observe NFL and MLB’s operations to inform how NBA attempts to pull off regular season at home arenas in 2021.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said recently that the earliest the 2020-21 NBA season could begin is January. The Hawks could potentially debut the jersey on Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 18 if next season begins in January, a source said.
Brad Townsend: Silver, asked for a realistic start date for next season: “I’ve said previously that the earliest we would start at this point is Christmas, but it may come and go. I’ve also said the greater likelihood is we’ll start in January.” Says players need a physical and mental break.
Marc J. Spears: Adam Silver says “it’s not clear what’s going to happen with the Olympics.” Silver adds “basic protocol” to fight against the coronavirus with wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, washing hands and cleanliness is working.
Joe Vardon: NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the league is “learning more about our television audience,” and that “fewer people are watching in the summer.” He was talking about when a season should start and end. #NBAFinals
Ohm Youngmisuk: Adam Silver says the NBA has been watching other leagues, how they move forward with any positive tests and trying to continue play, advancement in testing, “all of it” is on the table for what the NBA’s next season could look like.
Shams Charania: To prepare for possible return to NBA arenas for 2020-21 season, the league sent teams a 32-page manual with cleaning and disinfecting protocols to “reset” arenas, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
Tim Reynolds: Expect a break between Games 3 and 4 of the East finals, because the West series will be so far behind. Celtics-Heat would play Game 3 on Saturday and Game 4 likely not until Wednesday. Nothing definite yet, but this is a working theory.
The NBA held a call with its Board of Governors on Thursday and informed them that the 2020-21 season will start no sooner than Dec. 25. and that the league will provide an announcement on next season’s structure with eight weeks‘ notice ahead of the final chosen start date, sources told The Athletic.
For next season, the NBA prefers in-market competition with reduced travel and an amount of fans — instead of the bubble environment it is playing in currently, according to sources.
Free agency would likely follow the draft, but based on that timeframe it certainly stands to reason that teams will be making offseason roster decisions into early December. That’s why a start date before the calendar flips to 2021 – Christmas week has been a speculated target – could be ambitious, given how much work remains before the 2020-21 league year can start.
There’s also figuring out a schedule, whether to play at least some of next season in another bubble-type situation or in home arenas, if fans will be permitted to attend and if so how many – along with plenty of other matters. There’s also the quest to make everyone happy, which probably won’t be possible. There are eight teams – Golden State, Minnesota, Atlanta, New York, Cleveland, Charlotte, Chicago and Detroit – that have not played since March and are now assured of going at least nine months without a real game.
For next season, the NBA prefers in-market competition with reduced travel and an amount of fans — instead of the bubble environment it is playing in currently, according to sources. The league is aiming for an 82-game regular season in 2020-21.
On a call with all team GMs and NBA commissioner Adam Silver in August, Silver mentioned that the quality of play had indeed been impressive, sources with direct knowledge of the call said. Later, a GM said that it had been their observation — and that they were receiving feedback from management, staff and players — that additional rest and lack of travel were playing a role in the quality of the performances, sources said.
A second GM then chimed in on the same theme, sources said, echoing the lack of travel and additional rest leading to better play and helping even out the competition. Sources said a league official on the call then brought up the concept of teams heading into cities to play a potential series of games — fly into a city and have two teams play each other in two games over a short time span. The idea, which several GMs considered akin to a baseball-like homestand, was discussed in an effort to reduce the mileage teams might have to fly during the regular season.
In terms of scheduling, and in potentially doing baseball-like homestands, the league would also face the obstacle of juggling arena dates when concerts and other non-NBA events are being slated to be held, though it’s unclear in the current climate if such events will even take place in the near future. And multiple GMs noted that the league is heading into financial unknowns because it’s still yet unclear when teams will be able to fill their arenas with fans to make up for lost revenues.
According to a source, some league executives would like to see next season’s opener land on Martin Luther King Day on Jan. 18 — considering the climate of the times.
However, sources have suggested the NBA is completely open-minded about a starting date for February – and March has not been completely ruled out either. “The league may want to wait as a long as possible so fans can be there,’’ one NBA source said. “They may want to wait for a vaccine and that may not happen by mid-January.’’
The NBA and National Basketball Players Association agreed to push back the start of the 2020-21 season, sources told The Athletic’s Shams Charania on Tuesday. The 2020-2021 season was planned for Dec. 1. No new dates have been determined. According to Charania, by extending the window to terminate the collective bargaining agreement to Oct. 15, the NBA and NBPA have started the process of negotiating terms for the 2020-21 season and beyond.
Aldridge: Teams were increasingly leery about conducting a draft in five weeks. COVID-19 remains in charge. The NBA couldn’t possibly be business as usual when large swaths of the country still wouldn’t allow teams to conduct training camps, with their current restrictions on gatherings. Moreover, the league is desperate to get at least some fans back into NBA buildings at some point next season. Whether that means an 82-game season or something shorter remains uncertain.
Anthony Chiang: NBA announces game dates for Heat-Bucks series, with times TBD.
Shams Charania: NBA postseason schedule for Monday. pic.twitter.com/qYiOVtGOy7
Shams Charania: NBA Postseason schedule for Tuesday: pic.twitter.com/Rkr694pJVG
Shams Charania: NBA playoff schedule for Saturday and Sunday. pic.twitter.com/9PhPYn5tIC
Though the NBA’s bubble environment in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., has been a success, Silver said the league is not focusing on reinstating another quarantined campus for next season. “I’d say December 1, now that we’re working through this season, is feeling a little bit early to me,” Silver told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols before the NBA Draft Lottery on Thursday night.
Adam Silver: “I think our No. 1 goal is to get fans back in our arenas. … So my sense is, in working with the Players Association, if we could push back even a little longer and increase the likelihood of having fans in arenas, that’s what we would be targeting.”
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.
If teams believed they could force a play-in series by creeping within four games of the No. 8 seed, suddenly the final month of the season would become more meaningful. “I do see this as something we would embrace going forward,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver told Sports Illustrated. “As you know I’ve been talking about it for a while. We saw this as an opportunity to institute a form of it. I’m not sure if this would be the exact format going forward. But this is something we’d like to see stay.”
“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
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.
For now, here’s one idea on the league’s whiteboard, sources said: If the NBA believes it can significantly push back the start of the season to buy time on getting fans back into arenas, they’ve brainstormed the idea of a month-long Olympic break reminiscent of how the NHL has handled the Winter Olympics.
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.
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.”
Jim Eichenhofer: One minor note, not sure if it’s been brought up elsewhere, but #NBA appears to have made sure no team that could appear in the play-in round is playing Aug. 14. Since play-in round is potentially Aug. 15 and 16, avoids possibility of someone having to play 3 games in 3 days
Michael Singer: From the Nuggets (this is the game vs. the Raptors): “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.”
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: Miami would have had the easiest schedule in the NBA down the stretch. The Heat now have the fourth-hardest schedule in the seeding games — when taking into account only the 22 teams remaining this season. Records against the other eight not included.
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
Bobby Marks: The 88 seeding games will count toward the regular season statistics. However, for players with bonuses in their contract, games as March 11 will be used. Players on the 8 non-Orlando teams would have been at a disadvantage.
Chris Haynes: The NBA restart full schedule:
Michael Singer: Source: There will be no exclusive national telecasts during the seeding games.
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
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October 30, 2020 | 12:04 pm EDT Update
Adrian Wojnarowski: Mike D’Antoni and Ime Udoka are finalizing deals to become assistant coaches under Steve Nash with the Brooklyn Nets, sources tell ESPN. Together, D’Antoni and Nash were the architects of the Seven Seconds or Less Offense with the Phoenix Suns in the mid-2000’s.
Brian Lewis: When @Steve Nash was hired as #Nets head coach, mentor Mike D’Antoni said “I’m excited for him…He’s going to work hard and he’ll surround himself with smart people.” Now D’Antoni will be one of those people, w/ a source confirming ESPN’s report that he’s headed to Brooklyn. #NBA
The Houston Rockets are not trying to trade James Harden. I repeat, the Houston Rockets are not trying to trade James Harden. There will be a statue erected of the Bearded One right on the corner of Polk Street and Jackson Street whenever he decides to hang his sneakers up. Harden single-handedly changed the trajectory of a franchise that was headed for years of mediocrity and is a big reason why they are still respected in league circles. More importantly, he’s still in his prime, has enjoyed a clean bill of health, and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Clippers G League coach Brian Adams is joining Doc Rivers’ staff with the Philadelphia 76ers, sources tell ESPN. Adams had been Agua Caliente’s head coach for two seasons after working as a coaching associate under Rivers with the Clippers and Celtics.