NBA 2020-21 Season Won’t Start Until Christmas At The Earliest

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The NBA, which traditionally begins a season in mid-October, is reportedly pushing back dates for key events after the conclusion of the playoffs inside its Disney bubble in Orlando, Florida.

The initial target date of Dec. 1 to start the 2020-21 season has been moved, and Opening Night won’t be until Christmas Day at the earliest, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The NBA Draft has been moved from Oct. 16 to Nov. 18, according to Charania.

When plans for the restart were finalized, a potential Game 7 of the 2020 NBA Finals was scheduled for no later than Oct. 13. That was well before the players boycotted games for three days in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Wisconsin police officer.

Even Christmas might be a somewhat unrealistic target for the NBA. Commissioner Adam Silver has said the league prefers to wait to start next season until fans are allowed back in the stands. 

Knicks would go 290 days without games if they were to play on Christmas. They went 197 days between the end of the 18-19 season and start of 19-20. They had a 136 day break when they made it to Game 7 of the 1994 Finals to the start of the 94-95 season. https://t.co/ftpEeByhPq https://t.co/zJoUh08ih8

— Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) September 10, 2020

Strong possibility of one year between Warriors games. And if we're not being technical, it'd really be one and a half https://t.co/WSPED5fpmj

— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) September 10, 2020

It’s very possible that next season won’t begin until February or March. If that’s the case, eight teams could go close to a year without playing a regular-season game. 

The teams with the eight worst records were not invited to the league’s restart. The season was suspended on March 11 when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. Play resumed 141 days later on July 30.

The Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves are among the teams that haven’t played since March. 

Before missing the playoff this year, Golden State reached the Finals and played into June in five straight seasons.

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