Adam Silver Doesn’t Think NBA Season Will Begin Until 2021

The Sixers are without a head coach following their first round sweep.

Couple names floating around, from Mike D’Antoni to Tyronn Lue and Billy Donovan. No hurry though, because the playoffs are still going on and we don’t have a definitive date for the next campaign, which might not begin until 2021, according to commissioner Adam Silver.

He did a recent CNN interview with Bob Costas and said this about a resumption:

Bob Costas: “Going forward what’s your best guess, and we know as Dr. Fauci and others have noted we don’t really make the plans, the virus dictates the plans. But when is your best guess as to when the next season which won’t be 2020 — 2021…. It’ll be the 2021 season. When will it start and will you have to have format changes? Will it be a shorter season, different playoff structure because we know that the virus will not be completely behind us come springtime or late winter?”

Adam Silver: “My best guess is that even though as you said it’ll be the 2021 season that that season won’t start until ’21. We said a week ago or so that the earliest we would start is Christmas of this year. But the more I’m learning even listening to Dr. Fauci this morning, I continue to believe that we’re going to be better off getting into January.

The goal for us next season is to play a standard season to your — other part of your question 82 game season and playoffs. And further, the goal would be to play games in home arenas in front of fans, but there’s still a lot that we need to learn in terms of rapid testing for example.

Would that be a means of getting fans into our buildings, will there be other protections? Some of the things we’re learning down in Orlando currently on the campus down there and also clearly learning a lot from other sports, what baseball is currently doing, what football is doing sort of as college sports is now — has begun playing.

So, there’s a lot of new information out there in the marketplace that we’re looking to absorb. But the goal is to play a standard season and incidentally when we went into our planning of this current season we played a bit of an unusual finish to the regular season, but it was very important to the players and to the league and the teams that we play our standard playoffs which is what we’re in the process of doing now.”

If they’re looking at a full 82 games, that’s a little less than six months, assuming they don’t squeeze the schedule together or give us a ton of back-to-backs. That would take us from January into June, then the playoffs take another two months to complete, so we’d be done around late August, meaning that you’d bump into a problem of when to resume the 2022 season, unless you just shrink that offseason by a good month or two.

This plan does hypothetically bump the NBA into a rescheduled Tokyo Olympics, and Silver admitted that it’s hard to factor that into the schedule in a preferred way. He suggested that the USA might ended up sending a B team, if some of the top players remain in postseason contention.

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