It’s Official: The NBA Is Coming Back

It’s Official: The NBA Is Coming Back

In what has been the worst kept secret of 2020, the NBA board of governors has officially approved a plan to finish out the 2019-20 regular season. Twenty-two teams will be invited to Orlando, Fla., where they will finish out the season at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort.

There were many different plans proposed by the league over the last few weeks, but the league eventually settled on having just 22 teams finish the season. The other eight teams will see their season officially end, and they can start planning for the 2020-21 season.

The official vote was 29-1 in favor of the proposal, with the Portland Trail Blazers being the only organization to vote against it. The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) has been working closely with the league, and they will hold a meeting on Friday to approve the deal as well.

Under this plan, there will be just nine teams invited to Orlando from the Eastern Conference, and 13 teams from the Western Conference. The teams will compete for the eight playoff spots in each conference, and only 16 teams will advance to the playoffs.

Players have expressed their desire to play some regular-season games before the playoffs begin, and each team will play eight regular-season games. This will give the teams currently out of a playoff position a chance to qualify for the postseason.

Teams will be allowed to start reporting to Orlando at the beginning of July, with official training camps kicking off from July 9-11. The first official games will take place on July 31, and the league will cram plenty of games into a short window.

The playoff schedule has been shared with the league, but it has not yet officially been announced to the public. The league has stated that Game 7 of the NBA Finals would be played on Oct. 12, if necessary.

The 2020 NBA Draft Lottery will take place on Aug. 25, and the NBA Draft will be held on Oct. 15. Free agency will begin on Oct. 18, but teams were told that this date could be changed.

The league has also created a set of safety protocols that will guide anyone that moves into the Disney Resort. Daily testing for the coronavirus will take place for anyone within the NBA “bubble,” and the league has a plan in place for anyone that tests positive.

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2020-21 Start Date Could Be Moved

Michele Roberts, executive director of the NBPA, has expressed some concern over the NBA’s proposed start date of the 2020-21 regular season. The league is expected to open training camps on Nov. 10, which is a little over one month after the conclusion of this season.

The NBA delivered a tentative timeline to players and teams on Thursday, and the 2020-21 season will be delayed. Opening night is now set for Dec. 1, but many players still feel that this is too early of a start date.

The NBPA will approve the league’s 22-team return-to-play plan, but they will not approve of the plan for the next league year. The Players Association will likely enter into negotiations with the league over several issues, but it will not delay the resumption of this regular season.

The NBA is hoping to get the 2020-21 season started on Dec. 1 in an attempt to finish up the season before the 2021 NFL season takes place. The league is also wanting to conclude that season before the Summer Olympics held in Tokyo so that NBA players can play.