NBA players approve plan to start the season on December 22

The National Basketball Players Association voted on Thursday to support the idea of ​​starting the next season on December 22, the date the league has been aiming for in its talks on how and when to put teams back on the pitch for a season planned 72 games.

The vote, conducted by the NBPA board – which has a representative from each team, charged with speaking on behalf of its members – is just one more part of a long process. Among the main questions yet to be determined: how much deposit will be taken from players’ salaries because of the shorter-than-normal season, and how the league and players will face testing and other health and safety issues in the midst of the pandemic. ongoing coronavirus.

All of this needs to be resolved before the plans for the next season become really official.

“Additional details have yet to be negotiated and the NBPA is confident that the parties will reach agreement on these remaining issues relevant to the coming season,” the union said in a statement.

Talks between the NBA and the NBPA on these and other topics continue, although there is an obvious urgency to get things done. The NBA draft is scheduled for November 18 and the plan presented to players – and now approved by team representatives – provides for training camps to begin on December 1.

The free agency would almost certainly have to be fought between the draft and the start of these fields, the league year would have to be opened, negotiations would have to become allowed again and some players would need to be presented with deadlines within which they would have to accept or refuse options for the next season.

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The NBA wanted a December 22 start date instead of a mid-January notion for a number of reasons, revenue being the main one. A season of 72 games, by league estimates, would allow revenue of $ 500 million more than a season of no more than 60 games – the mid-January option – would have provided.

The start on December 22 also means that traditional NBA Christmas game programming will be possible, something the league and its broadcast partners wanted. The season is also expected to end before the start of the Tokyo Olympics next summer, meaning that the participation of NBA players in these games remains possible.

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