NBA Plans To Start Next Season in December

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Stefan Erwin, Staff Writer

The NBA is now targeting December 22nd as the date for the start of the 2020-2021 season.  This is exciting news, but there may be some conflicts with this date for a return to basketball.

Just a couple of weeks ago the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA title for the 2019-2020 season.  At this point, the start date of December 22nd is less than two months away.  Many would say that this is too short of an offseason for the players who played in the playoffs.

It is almost half the amount of time a normal offseason would be for playoff teams.  On the other hand, the teams who didn’t go to the bubble in Orlando haven’t played since March, so it’s already been an extra-long offseason for them.

Recently, Danny Green of the Los Angeles Lakers was interviewed by The Ringer NBA Show Podcast in which he said that he wouldn’t expect veterans to be back for the start of the season if they start as soon as December 22nd.

In the interview, Green said, “If I had to guess because we have a lot of vets on our team, it’s not like we have a lot of young guys or rookies … to have that quick of a restart, I wouldn’t expect to see [LeBron] there. I wouldn’t expect to see him probably for the first month of the season.”

The Lakers do have a lot of veterans who understandably want to be rewarded with a relaxing offseason to rest their aging bodies before starting the next season.  This may be an issue for the NBA if many veterans don’t want to come back to start the season in December.

One solution may be to have a preseason or winter league (as opposed to the normal summer league) starting in December for the young prospects and then starting a shortened season in late January or February.  Either way, it will likely be a shorter offseason than usual, and we’ll see how it affects teams’ behavior at the start of the season.