The new National Basketball Association season won’t begin until at least Christmas Day, the league office reportedly told its 30 teams on Thursday.
The beat writer for the online sports publication The Athletic, Shams Charania, wrote on Twitter that league officials informed its Board of Governors, representatives of the club owners, that the start date and a Nov. 18 draft date “remain fluid.”
The Christmas Day start is a delay from a previously announced Dec. 1 beginning, which NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in August was possibly “a little bit early” because teams wanted to open the new season in their own arenas. About 40% of team revenues come from games, such as tickets, merchandise, parking, concessions and other sources.
The NBA is in the midst of its playoffs after the current season was interrupted after the games of March 11 following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. It resumed on July 30 with all teams gathering in isolation, or “the bubble” as it has been called, at Walt Disney World’s sports complex near Orlando, Florida.
The playoffs have advanced to the second round and are to conclude with the NBA Finals in mid-October.
The NBA season typically begins in mid to late October. The ongoing season began Oct. 22 last year with the season before starting on Oct. 16. The 2016-2017 began Oct. 25.
The new potential draft date of Nov. 18 is a more than a month after the previously projected Oct. 15, which according to ESPN is due to club owners wanting more time to negotiate with the players union on the salary cap.