BOSTON (CBS) — Soak in the NBA playoffs while you can. It may be a while before we see professional basketball again after the NBA leaves the Orlando bubble.
The 2020-21 season won’t begin before Christmas Day, the NBA league office informed the league’s Board of Governors on Thursday, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. The league was hoping for a Dec. 1 start for next season back in June, but that was never agreed on by the NBPA. It also seemed pretty optimistic to have next season start less than two months after the conclusion of the 2019-20 playoffs.
Charania is also reporting that the 2020 NBA Draft is set for Nov. 18, but like the start of next season, that date is fluid. The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor threw it out on Twitter that next season may not begin until February or March.
NBA’s league office informed Board of Governors today that the 2020-21 season won’t begin earlier than Christmas Day, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. Nov. 18 Draft date, 20-21 start date remain fluid.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 10, 2020
Don't be shocked if the 2020-21 season doesn't start until February. Maybe March, at the latest. It's all TBD, but the longer the league pushes the start, the higher the likelihood of better testing or even a vaccine. And that'd mean better odds of getting fans back in arenas. https://t.co/Zwc9FPT31f
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) September 10, 2020
That’s a long wait for basketball. But it seems like the NBA is set on trying to have fans back in stadiums for next season, and pushing back the start of the season will improve those odds as the country deals with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Boston Celtics will play a win-or-go-home Game 7 against the Toronto Raptors on Friday night to decide their Eastern Conference Semifinals series. Boston fans better hope the C’s advance, otherwise it could be a long offseason with no clear start date for next year.