Report: Silver says NBA, union ‘running out of time’ for Dec. start
With the NBA in ongoing negotiations with the players union over proposed schedule formats and dates for the 2020-21 regular season, commissioner Adam Silver reportedly told league general managers Monday that the two sides are “running out of time” if they want to begin in December.
ESPN reported that the NBA conducted a conference call with league GMs to update teams on the state of negotiations. Sources said Silver and the league office indicated the window to start next season before Christmas — as the owners proposed last month — is closing.
The NBA’s current 72-game proposal includes a Dec. 22 tipoff, and the league has previously said it would provide at least eight weeks notice before the launch of a new season, according to a report by The Athletic in mid-October. Currently, the eight-week mark would stretch into late December, past the league’s target start date.
ESPN’s report said both parties continue to discuss options, although last week NBPA executive director Michele Roberts said that players are mostly against the plan — preferring to begin in January.
Members of the NBA Board of Governors are also mulling the feasibility of a short free agency period following the Nov. 18 draft with training camps starting Dec. 1.
The league’s proposal, in part, is a response to the league’s reported $1.5 billion financial shortfall caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, including loss of in-stadium revenue, the costs of staging the NBA restart near Orlando and diminished additional revenue streams.
Regardless of when the season’s start date is decided, several other amendments to the current collective bargaining agreement would require adjustment. ESPN says that the league and players union are already in discussion on many of those.
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