NBA commissioner Silver says next season may not start until 2021
NBA commissioner Adam Silver suspects that next season won't begin until 2021, he told Bob Costas of CNN (via Mark Medina of USA Today).
There had been talk that the 2020-21 season could tip off as early as Christmas Day, but also speculation that it could start later, such as Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 18) or even run from March until October.
Silver told Costas that the league is still hopeful of playing a "standard" season -- meaning a full 82-game schedule.
According to a recent report from Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Board of Governors were informed earlier this month that the 2020-21 season won't tip off before Dec. 25, and even that potential start date "remains fluid."
Players union executive director Michele Roberts previously said she doesn't envision next season tipping off in December.
"I do think we’ll have a season, but I don’t think it will begin in December," Roberts told David Gelles of the New York Times. "Some bubble-like environment may be necessary. I suspect that we will have a hybrid environment, maybe with division bubbles that last for a certain number of months, and then we stop. But the concept of putting our players in a bubble for an entire season is unrealistic."
Something else to keep in mind about next season is the summer Olympics, in which NBA players have participated since 1992.
"Even if the NBA is able to play a full 82-game season, starting it in January would ensure it runs far beyond the league’s typical end date, complicating the NBA’s ability to send players and coaches to the Tokyo Olympics, which are set to begin on July 23," wrote Luke Adams of HoopsRumors.
The eight non-Disney teams that finished with the league's worst records have not played since March.