The COVID-19 pandemic has done a lot more than shut the NBA down for several months during the 2019-2020 season. It forced the league to create its own bubble down in Orlando, Florida, where 22 teams, including the Philadelphia 76ers, stayed and competed for an eight-game regular-season schedule, a playoff play-in for teams that needed it, and a standard playoff format.
To say the bubble environment was a success would be an understatement. Still, team Governors, players, and decision-makers around the league aren't exactly open to doing it all again next season. Therefore, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and the league's Board of Governors are preparing to plan for next season this week.
Originally, December 1 was a target date to tip off the 2020-2021 NBA season. At this point, the first of December is out of the question. While Christmas day was tossed around as a more realistic option, reports shot that down lately as January became the top targeted month among those who are in the know.
But just because many doubted a Christmas day start before doesn't mean the idea is too far-fetched to bring back. As Friday's Board of Governors call approaches, a Christmas day start is being discussed once again, according to a report from ESPN's NBA insider, Adrian Wojnarowski.
"There has been some discussion among owners about starting as soon as Christmas Day to take advantage of that historically prime NBA showcase, sources said. Though numerous teams contacted by ESPN over the last several days weren't sure such a timeline was feasible. Others have been pushing for a start around Martin Luther King Day weekend in mid-January, sources said."
Per Wojnarowski, October 30 is setting up to be a "key date" for Adam Silver and the Board of Governors to come to several conclusions -- one of them being related to the potential start date for next season.
Recently, Commissioner Silver mentioned there would be an eight-week notice regarding the start of the 2020-2021 season. If a Christmas day start is in the cards for the NBA, then teams would be notified by or around October 30. If not, then teams would look forward to having an answer in November, as a January start remains a strong possibility as well.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_