Player Reps Approve NBA Season Start Date

Plan calls for 72-game season to start Dec. 22
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 6, 2020 12:01 AM CST
NBA Players Approve Plan to Start Season
In this March 8, 2020photo, Oklahoma City Thunder's Chris Paul plays against the Boston Celtics during an NBA basketball game in Boston.   (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

The National Basketball Players Association voted Thursday to support the notion of starting this coming season on Dec. 22, the date that the league has been targeting in its talks about how and when to get teams back on the floor for a planned 72-game season. The vote, conducted by the NBPA's board—which has a player rep from each team, entrusted to speak on behalf of his teammates—is part of a lengthy process, the AP reports. Among the primary matters still to be determined: how much escrow will be taken from player salaries because of the shorter-than-usual season, and how the league and the players will navigate coronavirus testing and other health and safety issues. All that has to be worked out before the plans for next season truly become official.

Talks between the NBA and NBPA on those and other topics are continuing, though there is obvious urgency to finalize things. The NBA draft is scheduled for Nov. 18 and the plan presented to players—and now approved by the team reps—calls for training camps to begin on Dec. 1. The NBA wanted the Dec. 22 start date over a mid-January notion for many reasons, revenue being foremost among them. A 72-game season, by league estimates, would allow for $500 million more in revenue than a season of no more than 60 games—the mid-January option—would have provided. The Dec. 22 start also means that the NBA's traditional Christmas schedule of games will be possible.

(More NBA stories.)

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