NBA Finals 2021: will there be full capacity in the stadiums according to Adam Silver?
"We think in terms of fan interest, what our television partners are telling us, we're betting off completing our Finals by the end of June."
Commissioner Adam Silver is steering the NBA toward a return to a normal schedule with the start of next season beginning in October.
Silver eyes NBA normalcy for fans
"Our plan as of now, give or take a week, is to start mid- to late October of this year," Silver said Friday on ESPN's "Get Up."
The covid-19 pandemic threw the traditional league schedule for a loop, including a months-long pause in the 2019-20 season from March to August.
Only a matter of weeks passed between the end of the NBA Finals in the league's Florida "bubble" before the start of the 2020-21 regular season, reduced from 82 games to 72 games, in December 2020. The ongoing season will end weeks later than the usual second week of June cap on the Finals schedule.
"We're going to have to do a bit of a shorter offseason to get back on schedule," Silver said.
"I think it's very possible that come July, when our Finals will be, you'll see essentially full buildings," said Silver, who added that "close to 80%" of all NBA players have had covid-19 vaccinations.
Several players, including Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, were outspoken against the tighter turnaround citing risk of injury. James missed multiple weeks with a high ankle sprain and teammate Anthony Davis was out even longer with a calf strain. The Lakers and Miami Heat had the shortest span between games due to the early fall Finals last year, won by Los Angeles.
A typical NBA season begins in mid-to-late October and the season ends in June. This season could go to 22 July if there are seven games in the NBA Finals.
The NBA play-in tournament, the Stanley Cup playoffs, the NFL draft & MLB's regular season all point to a near full reopening for fans at stadiums.@RomaineBostick tells you what inning the sports business is in as it returns from the pandemic lockdown https://t.co/SgHigup18n pic.twitter.com/eByN4CwiCr— Bloomberg TV (@BloombergTV) May 21, 2021
"We think in terms of fan interest, what our television partners are telling us, we're betting off completing our Finals by the end of June," Silver said of next season's schedule. "We looked at other lengths of the regular season. We will continue to do so. At least based on the evidence from this season, I don't that's a strong argument to go to fewer regular-season games.
"Obviously it's a business. That goes to a reduction in revenue. I think the benefit in reducing the number of games - one it would go to player health. A lot of science around that, in terms of amount of rest, number of minutes and how impactful that is. The other issue is, if you have fewer games does that make games that much more valuable?
"Look at the NFL: with fewer games, each game has that much more value that if you're a fan, you're not going to take a game off. Those are all things we're continuing to look at."
Te recomendamos en English
- US NEWS Fourth stimulus check and child tax credit live updates: is a new payment coming? Opt-out, eligibility, tax refund...
- OLYMPIC GAMES Tokyo Olympics 2021 medal count updates: who has won more? Tally by country, today, 31 July
- OLYMPIC GAMES Tokyo Olympics 2021 schedule today, July 31: events, sports, times, and how to watch
- OLYMPIC GAMES Tokyo 2021: Simone Biles pulls out of vault and bars finals
- OLYMPIC GAMES Connor Fields suffered brain bleed in BMX crash, out of ICU
- OLYMPIC GAMES South Korea U23 vs Mexico U23 live online: scores, stats and updates | Olympic men's soccer