Profitability is Key for the 2020-21 NBA Season
It appeared that the NBA had a whole plan setup for the league’s restart tipping off on December 22 and going all the way to the end of June or beginning of July, right before the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. However, as it usually happens, negotiations have not been finalized between the league, team owners and the NBA Players’ Association, and things might not be as easy as we initially thought.
As mentioned before, the NBA had planned to return as early as December 22 ,a Christmas start and a shortened 72-game season, instead of the usual 82, going into playoffs in April and with the NBA Finals taking place in late June, most probably. However, some of the players are not entirely on board with the starting date, considering that the season ended just a few weeks ago and there hasn’t really been enough time to rest and get ready for what’s coming.
It’s a little bit complicated right now because there are a few teams who have not had action since March, those who didn’t have a shot at the playoffs. A total of 22 teams did go to the Orlando bubble and took part or the season restart, and out of those, 16 advanced to the playoffs, which means that 6 of those teams only played 8 games and went back to rest.
The others did keep going and of course, there are 2 teams that went all the way to the Finals, other 2 that lost in the Conference Finals, and of course, the season was extended for them, and now deserve some rest.
NBA Teams That Didn’t Make the Bubble Ready to Roll
The teams that have not had much activity in the past few months though, are quite eager to return.
That’s the physical part, but then comes something much more complex, which is players’ salary issues and adjustments due to the shortened season. Plus, on top of all this, the league and team owners must think about the fact that fans are still not allowed in basketball arenas, as they are in open stadiums like NFL or MLB venues.
Remember that up to 11,000 fans were allowed to attend each game of the MLB World Series, in the NFL some of the teams are welcoming fans back following strict safety measures and distancing, but things are different for the NBA, as games are played indoors.
When we put all this into the equation, things get quite complex and the plan is hard to follow. Players want time to rest and come back on top of their game, but if the season doesn’t start in December, and is moved to mid-January, this would mean a significant loss for the league in TV air time and sponsorships, plus teams would then also have to go into salary cut issues for players.
In general, the NBA calculates a loss of up to $1 Billion if the season gets delayed, and that’s why they’re pushing hard for that December 22 restart. Their is a decent change that the NBA can turn a profit with added advertising revenue and more televised games. The world is starving for consistent sports products and fans in stands. This last NBA was just a teaser.
The NBA and fans from all over the world will be happy if things come to a good end, but all we know so far is that everything is still on the table, and now we need to be patient and hope for the best. If all goes right then the season will end with just enough time to get a gold-medal winning team to the Tokyo Olympics.