The NBA has a target date in mind for the start of next season.
The NBA pulled off a minor miracle by finishing the 2019-20 season in a controlled bubble environment with no positive COVID-19 tests. Now the focus immediately turns to the logistics of next season.
The first order of business is figuring out when the season will start. A recent report from John Hollinger of The Athletic says the league is targeting Jan. 18, 2021 as the opening day of the season. The report also says how the NBA will give an eight-week notice of the start date, thus making November 23 an important date to keep an eye on as well.
The NBA’s target date is not too far off
Jan. 18 is an important day on the NBA calendar because it is also Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The league has made it a point to play all day on the holiday in the past and it serves as a great way to kick off next season.
The NBA is already set to lose the Christmas games in 2020. Keeping MLK Day allows the league to open on a day when social justice can be in focus as it was in the bubble.
Getting a start date is the first step. Next comes figuring out if more bubbles will be needed or if the teams can take the MLB approach and travel. Then comes the question of having fans in attendance.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic presents another unique challenge for the league to tackle. Getting the players to agree to go to Orlando was a great feat by Adam Silver. Now he must figure out how to keep everyone safe from the virus and keep some normalcy to the season.