NBA Commissioner Adam Silver noted that a January start to the 2020-21 season is looking most likely for the San Antonio Spurs and their NBA competitors.
Ah yes, COVID-19 — The gift that keeps on giving. Many countries around the world have situated themselves to combat the coronavirus outbreak and resume some version of everyday life, but the United States hasn’t been able to commit to the practices necessary to truly break the curve. With this being the case, it might be longer than anticipated before we get San Antonio Spurs basketball back into our lives.
One of the main priorities of the National Basketball Association is to get fans back in stadiums for the 2020-21 season, but it’s hard to do that with health risks in play. Originally, the league aimed to resume games in December with the possibility of a Christmas Day start date floated around. Unfortunately, that’s not likely to be the case according to the main man himself, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.
During an appearance on CNN with the great Bob Costas, Silver mentioned that a January restart for the 2020-21 regular season is the earliest return date he could envision.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver tells Bob Costas on @CNN that his “best guess” is that next season will begin in January at the earliest
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) September 22, 2020
There’s more to this than just the start to a regular-season — This is the most innovative sports league in the United States. There’ve been discussions about a potential G-League tournament to drive interest and develop some of the game’s younger talents. It’d certainly help the eight teams that weren’t invited to the Orlando restart gain some momentum and potentially take the place of Summer League.
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I’m simply speculating on this part, but it wouldn’t be surprising to hear the league is putting together a Summer League equivalent for after the NBA Draft. Each year, fans gather around to watch the most exciting young prospects duke it out during the offseason. Interest in the NBA is immense nowadays and there are marketable up-and-comers who’d be invited to participate including LaMelo Ball, James Wiseman and current NBA sophomores.
For the San Antonio Spurs, it’d be another way to focus on player development and get their young guns ready for the youth movement to be amplified next season. Regardless of how this plays out, the NBA is always looking to push the needle and getting a great product on our televisions to fill the gap between the Orlando restart and next season would hold fans over.
At the end of the day, recouping revenue is the league’s priority. If they can make back some of the money lost on ticket sales due to the pandemic, Silver is going to get creative so that team governors will get off his back and so that the salary cap doesn’t plummet. Tearing up the CBA and having to make a new one would be detrimental to the league’s future — That cannot happen if we want NBA basketball back anytime soon.
If it means we have to wait longer to see the next iteration of the San Antonio Spurs then so be it — Getting fans back at the AT&T Center is a meaningful consolation for a long wait.