The NBA season ended late due to Covid-19 and is suspected to start back in December. The quick turn around is not giving the championship Lakers enough time to rest. Will players return in December or wait a few extra months? Do you think Dec 22nd is too soon?
The NBA is reportedly pushing for next season to begin on December 22, a quicker turn-around than expected from the finish of the 2019-20 season.
Los Angeles Lakers veteran Danny Green told The Ringer that he doesn’t think Lakers players will want to show up for training camp with such a short offseason. Green said LeBron James might not show up for the first month, citing the wear-and-tear of James’ ninth Finals appearance in 10 years.
Green said the Lakers might be in the minority, as many teams have had enough time off to be ready for the next season. If the 2020-21 NBA season begins in December, it may be hard to get LeBron James back on the court.
After NBA Commissioner Adam Silver publicly mentioned a January start for next season, the league’s board of governors has flipped on the issue. It is now reportedly targeting a December 22 start to next season. With the NBA draft being held on November 18, free agency, training camps, and preseason would need to be held over the course of five weeks to make the December 22 start.
ESPN reported that some team owners want to keep the primetime slot of games on Christmas Day to “further realize the value of broadcast partnerships.” NBA TV ratings were down significantly during the bubble, likely the result of several factors.
And while the NBA wants to avoid another bubble and understands there will be positive COVID-19 tests among players and staff members, some owners have given up the hope of getting fans back into arenas soon.
A December start date not only gets the NBA back on track to its standard schedule, but it would also wrap the season in time for the Tokyo Olympics if the games are still held in 2021.
Green said while the Lakers are not yet rested enough for a full season, he understands they may be in the minority.
“A lot of other stars haven’t played in a long time; they’ve had enough break,” Green said. “Some guys have been out the bubble for a long time. Some guys haven’t played in a year. So majority of league can be like, we’re okay with the restart … I think the majority is against us.”
According to ESPN, October 30 looms as an important date — the NBA and players association agreed that day would be the deadline to modify the collective bargaining agreement for the 2020-21 season. It is also about eight weeks from Christmas — Commissioner Adam Silver said there would need to be at least eight weeks between an agreement and the start of the season.
Green said perhaps he and his Lakers teammates would feel differently about the start date with a few more weeks rest, but as of now, they’re not ready. Green says “I’m really hoping we don’t start that early in December.” Also, Lebron may miss the first month.