The NBA planned extraordinarily well in the lead up to the resumption of the 2019-20 season at Walt Disney World in Orlando. It has gone off without a hitch with multiple weeks consisting of zero positive COVID-19 tests.
Though, the Association also has to plan for the coming 2020-21 season. It was previously expected to start on Dec. 1. That might no longer be the case.
NBA considering delaying the start of the 2020-21 season to January
“The NBA would be willing to hold back the start — perhaps even months. An opening night of Martin Luther King Jr. Day — Jan. 18 — is a consideration. February and March are realistic, too, if a combination of vaccines, therapeutics and rapid-response testing for COVID-19 could contribute to the possibility of public gatherings,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported.
Obviously, the caveat here would be having fans in attendance. There’s no real reason to push back the start of the season if it’s going to be played in a bubble without fans being on hand.
As of right now, the expectation is that a COVID-19 vaccine will be available in a widespread manner at some point late this year or early in 2021. If that is indeed the case, it makes sense for the NBA to consider postponing the start of next season.
From a pure logistical standpoint, this could also work well for the teams and its players. As of right now, the season is expected to end on Oct. 13. That means less than two months between the end of the 2019-20 campaign and next season. Talk about a short turnaround.