After all the push and shove and big talk, the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) representatives finally gave up and voted on Thursday evening to get on board with Commissioner Adam Silver’s plan to begin the new NBA season on December 22. Their initial plan was to try to get the season started in January, in order to get some much-needed downtime, but the reality of basketball got in the way.
The NBA Needs To Get Back To Business
There is too much money involved, around a half a billion dollars, for the NBA season not to start as soon as possible. There are also the Summer Olympics, and a lot of the elite players in the league would like to participate in the game. They only come around every four years and for some of these guys, this may be their last and only chance to go for the Gold.
We will have basketball games on Christmas Day, as if there weren’t enough going on already, but there it is. After a grueling NBA Finals this year, the league is cranking up again just a few short weeks after the LA Lakers were crowned league champions for 2020. Here comes 2021.
NBA Draft Starts In Less Than 2 Weeks
The NBA Draft will now take place on November 18 and Free Agency will open up right afterwards. Then, everyone has to be in training camp on December 1 in order to get ready for the first games to be played on the 22. The games will more than likely take place in front of a bunch of cardboard cutouts with fake crowd noises piped in for good effect because of COVID-19, but, this is what these guys do and once the ref’s whistle blows and that big round ball is tossed up in the air to start the game.
All the negotiations will be forgotten, and they will just settle down and play basketball. Each player will be once again out there in front of the cameras performing to the best of their ability.
Some will not be thinking of anything but the game. Some will have money on their minds, knowing that, if they put in a spectacular performance on national television, it will give their respective agents another bargaining point when it comes time to negotiate their next contract.
Free agency this year will have to be done in a furious hurry to get it over with before training camp starts on December 1. That should shorten most negotiations that will be down to take it or leave it rather quickly.
Players Gotta Pay The Bills
The other issue up before the players and the owners is money – lots of money. The money that the team owners figure they have lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the money that the players will have to put into escrow under their contract agreement to make up for the leagues lost revenue this year.
The details of the agreement are still being negotiated, like how much money, but the NBPA is confident that everyone will reach a happy agreement and the collective bargaining agreement will once again be signed, sealed and delivered before it starts to cost everyone too much money. The difference in Silver’s plan and the players original proposal to start in January is somewhere around a half billion to a billion dollars in revenues to the teams and the players. Now we see why everyone is suddenly in agreement on starting on December 22.
Once the agreement is reached, Silver and the NBA will lift the current moratorium and reopen the NBA for business, which will allow for the free agency trading madness to begin. It must all be over and done with by December 1. The 2021 NBA season will consist of 72 games per team on a schedule that will finish in mid-July, just in time for the Summer Olympics.