The NBA has been formulating a plan for the start of the 2020-2021 season. The National Basketball Players Association and the NBA have been trying to decide on a safe and reasonable return to play. Originally, the ideal start date was before Christmas.
What the Players Want
While the players want to play, they also need time to rest and spend time with their family. Some of the players were just separated from their families for 100 days. The players do not want to start traveling right away in December. The thought of a 2021 start is something that the players want because of the longer rest period and spending more time with their family. This season was very strenuous and taxing on the players between the pause and the bubble. The more rested, mentally and physically, the players are the better the basketball will be when they get back to playing.
The revenue that the NBA has lost from this season and will lose this season is going to be a major factor in this decision. The loss of fans in the stadiums this season and most likely at least some of next season is going to cost the NBA a huge amount in revenue. Also, the shortened season will decrease revenue even if a limited number of fans are let into the stadium.
All of this money lost is going to motivate the NBA to start as soon as possible. At the end of the day, the NBA is a business. While there is a balance between the player’s well-being and the business, in this situation, money may win that debate. The NBA revenue dropped 10 percent this season because of the pandemic bringing the total to $8.3 million (espn.com). This is not a trend that the NBA wants to continue and they may be in a rush to start because of it.
Time is running out
While there is nothing set in stone, it is already November. Due to all the new rules and regulation, sports take some serious planning now. The bubble was an extremely controlled environment where the NBA was able to track everyone’s movement. This season, without a bubble, the threat of a Covid-19 spread will be much greater. The NBA needs to plan how they are going to limit the amount of exposure players will face. This takes coordination between different teams and cities and player cooperation. Since it is already November, if the NBA wants to start in December they need to start planning now.
The main priority of the NBA should be keeping the players safe and preventing a COVID-19 spread mid-season. A pause mid-season would be detrimental to the NBA’s revenue similar to this season. The NBA handled the first wave of the pandemic well but now they need to make a plan about how to continue from here. With the lost revenue, the NBA may need to start planning as soon as possible.
“From Our Haus to Yours”