There's still no official start date for the 2020-'21 NBA season, but commissioner Adam Silver doesn't expect it to be before the end of the year.
Silver's “best guess” is that the season won't begin until at least January, he said during an interview with CNN's Bob Costas on Tuesday. The league initially announced it was targeting a Dec. 1 start date, but with the NBA Draft recently being pushed back to Nov. 18, it became clear the start of next season was going to need to be pushed back too.
The league was discussing “the earliest we would start is Christmas of this year,” Silver said as recently as last week, but he now believes as more coronavirus-related information becomes available that January would make more sense. Silver also added that the goal for next year would be to play a “standard season,” meaning an 82-game schedule and full postseason and that the intention is “to play games in home arenas in front of fans.”
Some NFL teams are allowing fans into the stadium in a limited capacity, while MLB is hopeful it can do the same for the World Series – which will be played inside a bubble at a neutral site in Dallas. The NBA is "clearly learning a lot from other sports," Silver said.
“There’s lots of new information out there in the marketplace that we’re looking to absorb,” he said.
Any plan and protocols the league puts in place for the 2020-'21 season will need to be negotiated with the National Basketball Players Association.