What will the 2020-21 NBA season be like?
If there is no readily available vaccine for COVID-19 when games most likely start in December, will all 30 teams fly around the country for 41 usual road games?
Will the Warriors be allowed to have fans at the Chase Center, while maybe a team like the New York Knicks can’t have one? Will this response be determined by local health officials on a market-by-market basis?
Is the best option trying to replicate a bubble like the current situation in Orlando for the 2019-2020 restart?
Does Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN still have answers to these questions?
The NBA’s top priority remains to bring fans to the arenas for next season. Regional pods for extended periods are among brainstorming, but the preference would be that they be of finite length, sources said. For example: a month or two inside, a month outside. At the beginning of planning; everything is on the table. https://t.co/fkuSyy1TwG
– Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 29, 2020
So this idea of a “regional pod” is very interesting, and it’s something my brother mentioned a couple of weeks ago. Yours really thought he stole the idea from an NBA podcast, but he swears he invented the profile himself.
In short: you created two 15-team bubbles and have each franchise play “x” number of games over a specified period of time (maybe six weeks), before letting everyone go home to their families for a couple of weeks. Then, mix the teams and repeat the same formula until you reach a complete program of 82 games (or maybe less if it makes more sense).
Do you play some back-to-back or do you create a formula every other day? Would it be possible to play each other team at least twice as usual, or should changes be made? Would you still have eight teams for each conference reaching the playoffs, or going with the 16 best records?
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The powers found in the league office have plenty of time to reveal the details, as there are a myriad of variables to deal with. It is obvious that all players and coaches and team staff would be subject to strict testing protocols as they are now. This is an automatic.
Hey, speaking of testing: two weeks ago Warriors general manager Bob Myers said the franchise underlines its importance.
“We are doing everything to make sure we can have fans and that he can be sure,” he said. “We are probably in a large market with all the technology we have and all the medical affiliates in the city …
“Much of our attention has been paid to testing safely – making sure our players are safe, making sure fans are safe, making sure our arena is safe. Fortunately, we have a brand new arena, which is height of the latest standard news.
“So we have some advantages, but it’s a daunting affair.”
Everything is fluid. And what might make the most sense now might seem silly in a week or four weeks or four months from now.
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So far, things are going very well in the Orlando bubble.
NBA and NBPA have announced the following: pic.twitter.com/ePfr1JFeOk
– NBA (@NBA) July 29, 2020
And Michele Roberts told ESPN’s Tim Bontemps on Tuesday that returning to a similar format may be the only way forward next season.
“If tomorrow is like today, I don’t know how they say we can do it differently,” said NBPA executive director. “If tomorrow seems today, and today we all recognize it – and this is not Michele, this is the championship, together with the AP and our respective experts who say:” This is the way to do it “- then it is going to be the way to do it. “
As Woj said, everything is on the table.
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