Income, and its potential loss, is a significant sticking point when it comes to when the 2020-21 NBA season begins. The league has pitched a 72-game regular season schedule that starts right before Christmas (Dec. 22). Meanwhile, players have reportedly made a counter pitch to for a Jan. 18 start date. That would add extra free time at the end of what will be a shortened off-season.
On Friday, the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association agreed to an extension of the CBA’s negotiation deadline to November. 6. This was the fourth time that both parties agreed to extend the time limit and to allow more time for discussion.
Last season, the league lost revenue due to suspending the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and once the season resumed in August, it was without fans.
And at the time of this the league doesn’t know if fans will be in attendance when the season starts next season. With that said the league would like to play as many games as possible this upcoming season, and fears January delay could cost the league between $500 million to $1 billion, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. It could also cut players salaries for next season almost in half.
“And without assurances that the pandemic will allow for fans in arenas this season — and projections that their absence could cost the league more than $4 billion in lost revenue — the NBA fears delaying the start of the 2020-21 season until January could cost the league an additional $500 million to $1 billion in revenue losses next season and beyond, sources said.
The consequences for the league’s players would be a steep drop in salaries due to the collective bargaining agreement’s 50-50 revenue split between the league and players. “
However, Jalen Rose has a possible solution of when the season could start. The NBA should start as a collective, but the focus is on the teams who did not participate in the NBA bubble or got eliminated early on.
“You start the season as an NBA collective, but the focus should be on the teams weren’t in the bubble, and the one that eliminated from the bubble and didn’t make the playoffs,” said Rose on the Jalen and Jacoby Show. “Then the ones that got eliminated early in the playoffs and then you continue that gradual release allowing all of those teams to get out there and perform.”
Rose has a point it is unrealistic to have LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers play almost 60 days after winning the NBA Finals. But, Rose also brought up the point that this is an opportunity for the league to highlight teams like the Atlanta Hawks, Sacramento Kings, Chicago Bulls, Charlotte Hornets, and New York Knicks, that didn’t participate in this year’s bubble.