When Will the NBA Season Start?

The Dates They Choose Can Have Large Effects

Julian Cupeles
Staff Writer
April 22, 2021 7:23 PM
Because of COVID, the traditional setup of basketball games, like the ones shown here from 2006, has to be altered (Chris Green/Wikimedia Commons)
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Note: This story was originally produced over a month ago. Information, dates, predictions, and other details may be outdated.

As we begin the NBA off season, people are starting to get concerned about when exactly the season will start. The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association have been in talks for weeks and have yet still come to a full agreement. The two groups have at least agreed on two dates: December 22, 2020 and January 18, 2021, with the NBA pushing the December 22 start date and the players association wanting the January 18 date.  

LeBron James, pictured here in 2014, has been vocal against the December start date (Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons)

The NBA has been public with their issues with the January start date, with the main issue being tremendous loss in revenue. If the season starts in January, the NBA can lose up to $4 billion. The loss in revenue would lower team's salary cap and badly hurt the players' salary. This does not hurt superstars like Lebron James and Stephen Curry due to their big endorsements, but for the other players whose income heavily relies on their NBA salary, it could really hurt them.

The December start date not only may affect players currently in the league but with the NBA draft set to November 18, incoming rookies will not have that much time with their new teams. Typically, rookies play in the summer league and pre-season to prepare them for what it feels like to play in the NBA.  With the NBA not being able to host the summer league, teams will have to throw their rookies right into the fire. Going into the NBA will be much more difficult for these rookies than in years past, as they have the least amount of time to adjust to NBA life.

Players like LeBron James have come out and disagreed with the December start date opposed to a the January one. If they choose to do that with the NBA possibly loosing hundreds of millions of dollars due to marketing agreements. On the other hand, it hugely benefits players who are just coming off leaving the bubble. With the finals recently ending in September, it would be a lot to ask of players to make that quick of a turn around after being away from their families for so long to then come back and spend a lot of time away again.

When asked about this SCHS student Nick Marine said: “It's really unfair and unrealistic for the players to comeback so quickly in such a short amount of time. They really cannot even soak in what happened before turning right back around to another season.” He brought up a fair point. It really too much to ask of them. Many players have come out on how the bubble was such a tough challenge mentally due being away from friends and family for so long. No matter what date the NBA chooses it will be by far the shortest NBA off-season and can really hurt the players who are coming off recently playing such as the Lakers and Heat.

On the other hand, there are the teams that did not qualify to make the NBA bubble. Those teams are eager to play their players as they have been sidelined for over seven months. These teams need their players to play in order to develop their talent, but the longer it takes for the season to start the more precious time they are missing.

Update: The NBA has decided to choose the December start date, the draft will still be November 18th and the free agency starts November 20th.

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