NBA's Adam Silver Reiterates Prediction for Next Season's Start
Much like how it was back in March, the NBA is heading into next season without an idea of when the next season will tip-off. Typically, the Philadelphia 76ers and the rest of the NBA would be gearing up for training camp to start the season in October. This year, though, the NBA Finals have yet to conclude at this point.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still affecting the United States, the NBA cannot resume to action as they typically would. The league initially wanted to conduct the NBA Draft and free agency in mid-October following the Finals with the hopes of beginning the season on December 1, but that idea is already wiped out.
Instead, the NBA plans to draft on November 18, with the start of free agency still unclear at the moment. While the 2020-2021 NBA season could still begin in December, the first of the month is already ruled out, according to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.
Back in the spring, when COVID-19 first shut the NBA down, Adam Silver refused to predict a timetable for the league's comeback until a concrete plan was in place. This time around, however, Silver seems more open to offering up specific predictions despite not having any real idea of when the NBA will tip-off next year.
"I've said previously that the earliest we would start at this point is Christmas," Silver said on Wednesday night before the 2020 NBA Finals tipped off. "[Christmas] has been a traditional tentpole day for the league, but it may come and go. I've also said the greater likelihood we'll start is in January."
The December 1 start date getting pushed back was disappointing, but hardly surprising. While January is still a long way from now, it's certainly not a nightmare scenario for the NBA; They will have a much better chance of resuming the season with the opportunity to get fans back in the stands by then. A January start isn't guaranteed, but it could end up being the best-case scenario for the league.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_