The NBA season will begin on Dec. 22 just over two months after the NBA finals wrapped up on Oct. 11. They will look to complete a 72-game shortened regular season, which cuts the normal season by 10 games. The off-season would round to a 71-day total, which would mark the shortest in the history of the NBA, NHL, MLB or NFL.
This comes after the players began last season just to shut down then had to prepare for a sprint finish in a bubble in Florida. Danny Green, Los Angeles Lakers guard, said, “If we start in December, I think most guys [are like] ‘I’m not going to be there… to have that quick of a restart, I wouldn’t expect [LeBron] to be there for the first month of the season.”
Many players have voiced their displeasure with the quick start of the NBA season. To start the season this close to the ending of the last one is going to be detrimental to the players. Their bodies need more time to recover.
During the Miami Heat’s incredible run through the NBA playoffs, Jimmy Butler turned in a masterful performance to lead his team to game six of the finals. One of the great moments of the run was Butler’s play in game five. He scored a 35-point triple-double while only resting for 48 seconds of the game. The image of him exhausted, barely standing after he got fouled in the closing minutes, really showed what these athletes go through. Their bodies are not able to properly recover enough for another season.
The Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers will have the shortest time span in between seasons of any other teams. Teams that did not make it to the bubble will endure an off-season of triple the length of the Heat and Lakers.
Major concerns around starting the season in late December stem from the health officials still being worried about another outbreak. The plan is for training camp to begin on Dec. 1. Health officials around the league worry about the constant travel that the next season would present.
The bubble down in Florida worked very well. What can the NBA expect when there isn’t a bubble for the upcoming season? Many organizations have failed when it comes to restrictions and guidelines caused by the pandemic. Many teams have shut down due to outbreaks, and restarting the NBA is a huge risk to the players.
The start of the season coming on Christmas would be a nice touch. Christmas games have always been a fan favorite to watch, since traditionally, it is the only major sport to play on the holiday.
There needs to be more time for the players. Training camp could begin late December and have a season begin during January. This would give players an extra month to not only prepare for the grind of a long season, but give them the opportunity to recover from the constant games during their time in the bubble.
By Nicholas Mundy