The NBA is targeting Tuesday, December 22nd for the start of the 20-21 season with a 72-game regular season that finishes before the 2021 Olympics begin on July 23rd. The league has started the season on a Tuesday in recent years with a doubleheader on TNT. Christmas Day falls on a Friday this year and would likely feature a full slate of games throughout the day on ABC, ESPN and TNT.
Beginning the 20-21 season around Christmas Day would allow the league to return to a semi-normal schedule while potentially allowing stars to play in the Olympics.
“It may be too quick, but it also makes too much sense,” one high-ranking team official told The Athletic.
The NBA still prefers in-market play for the 20-21 season instead of a bubble or multiple bubbles.
There has been more support for a quicker than previously planned turnaround because it allows the league to return to its typical schedule and will generate more revenue. The league office projects the value of starting on December 22nd instead of later in the season at more than $500 million.