NBA Rumors: League Office Targeting Earlier Return for 2020-2021 Season

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All hope isn't lost for a 2020 start date for next season. Typically, the NBA would gear up for the start of the regular season in late October, but this season has been as abnormal as they come.

Following the breakout of COVID-19 in the NBA back in March, the league went into an in-season offseason until late July. In an attempt to salvage the 2019-2020 NBA season, the league came up with a plan to resume the season in a bubble down in Orlando, Florida.

Players, coaches, and NBA decision-makers went into Orlando with the idea that the bubble was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Therefore, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is doing all he can to avoid going down that road again.

Returning to normal this year won't be possible -- but the NBA is working on a start that comes a lot earlier than initially expected. A few weeks ago, Adam Silver estimated the 2020-2021 NBA season could begin in mid-January. Other reports mentioned the start could come as late as February or even March.

But on Friday, following the most recent Board of Governors meeting, the league's reportedly aiming towards a December start once again. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the NBA’s league office informed the Board of Governors on Friday that it is targeting to start the 2020-2021 season on December 22. 

While the NBA would like to begin the season when all teams can start getting fans back in the stands at some capacity, the league also wants to ensure players who are eligible to play in the 2021 Summer Olympics can participate. Therefore, Silver and the Board of Governors are looking at a potential December 22 start date for a 72-game season. 

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_