All I Want for Christmas… Is HOOPS

The question of ‘When will the 2020–21 NBA Season Tip-Off?’ has been answered. The negotiations are over, and an agreement has been made.

The 2020–21 NBA season is set to tip off on December 22nd with a 72-game schedule as opposed to a normal 82 games. An early Christmas gift from the NBA to Basketball fans across the globe. Especially the fans of teams who were left out of the NBA Bubble.

The 2020–21 NBA Season will make more history the day it tips off in December. Once the first game of the season is underway, it will mark the end of a historically short offseason. The shortest offseason in professional sports history… 71 days.

What a treat for NBA fans… We are about to embark on an accelerated NBA offseason bonanza. This will include the 2020 NBA Draft on November 18th. 48–72 hours after the draft, NBA Free Agency will begin. The beginning of December will mark the opening of training camps, and the NBA regular season tips off on December 22nd.

I cannot contain my excitement. The toughest thing for any fan is watching your favorite team play their last game of the season (unless that last game is a Championship Victory of course) …

On a normal basis, the final game of the season leads into a long, yet eventful offseason. Fans sit in anticipation for months in advance of offseason events. Free Agency, the Draft Combine and the Draft, Summer League just to name a few.

The months, weeks and days leading up to these massive offseason events seem to drag on for what seems like an eternity. You sit around and read about all the speculation surrounding your favorite team or favorite players, but nothing compares to the real thing.

While NBA fans will benefit from the condensed offseason, it sounds like the players have mixed emotions. Particularly those who made deep playoff runs in the Bubble.

It has been reported that LeBron James may sit out the first month of the upcoming season to fully recover from the Lakers title run. However, with 10 less games than normal, each game takes on more significance. If top players like LeBron are planning to sit out the first few weeks to a month of the season, it could have a negative impact on their respective organizations.

Professional athletes undoubtedly cherish their off-season’s. This time off is spent doing necessary maintenance and recovery, spending valuable time with their families, and sharpening their skillset.

After initial reports of the NBA season starting right before Christmas, the NBA Players Association suggested a later start. They requested another month to prepare and proposed a January tip-off on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This would have forced the NBA to make a tough decision between their players and the TV Networks.

As a surprise to absolutely nobody, the NBA ultimately sided with the TV Networks.

This is where we find ourselves today. Getting ready to enjoy regular season NBA Basketball in late December.

A condensed offseason and shortened schedule have been a topic of discussion the NBA has flirted with for years now. Due to the pandemic, they are going to get a ‘trial run’ of sorts. If things go smooth with this temporary format, it could be something the NBA investigates for future seasons.

The topic of fans in NBA arenas is still unclear. I anticipate it will operate much like the NFL where fan regulations are dependent on each city’s guidelines.

The Raptors look like the only NBA franchise that will not be able to play in their home market of Toronto when the NBA season begins. Due to the restrictions in Canada, the Raptors will likely have a temporary home in the United States. The temporary home court for Toronto looks to be in Kansas City, but nothing is official yet.

While safety is the number one priority… followed closely by network ratings… Adam Silver and the NBA deserve a lot of credit for the way everything has been handled. Through all the scrutiny, speculation, and uncertainty during a global pandemic, they continue to conduct their business as close to normal as possible.

Thanks to them, Fans of all 30 NBA franchises can look forward to watching their team back in action as an early Christmas gift.

While Adam Silver is not Santa Claus, he is the next best thing.

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Avid sports enthusiast creating content for the average sports fan

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