The NBA is doing everything in its power not only to preserve this season but to ensure that next season goes off without a hitch despite the coronavirus pandemic that currently has all sports on hold. An idea that has gained some traction of late, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski is moving the start of next season back, not only to give this season more time to conclude but to increase the odds of fans returning to the arena at some point next season.
So when would the 2020-21 season begin? Nothing is finalized yet, but according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, it could potentially be as late as Christmas. The NBA has long used Christmas as a marquee date for regular-season matchups, and due to the 2011 lockout, the 2011-12 season actually did begin on Christmas.
What commissioner Adam Silver apparently has on his side are smart ideas from the minds of smart people. San Antonio Spurs CEO R.C. Buford and Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri were brought back to the competition committee even though their tenures had ended; Celtics coach Brad Stevens could be responsible for creating a detailed timetable for restarting training camps.
But even with that experience on his side, there will inevitably be pushback of some sort. Take the reports revealing that the NBA will allow teams in states with, for example. Woj reports that after those came out, the league's GMs "spent Saturday and Sunday on the phone with each other and the league, trying to understand the purpose, the timing, the safety issues -- as well as alternatives for teams outside of those selected markets."
And that's just a plan to begin the transition back to normalcy. It's not hard to imagine more pushback when the NBA tries to secure an estimated 15,000 COVID-19 tests for the league to use from the restart to the end of the resumed season, or when the league finally does decide on what venue(s) will hold the remainder of the suspended season.
For a commissioner that has been generally heralded for his responses in the face of adversity, whatever Silver decides to do will almost certainly be his most scrutinized move to date.