The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) made it official that on December 22 is the date chosen for the start of a 2020-2021 season that will have a reduced calendar, from 82 to 72 regular season games.
After the conclusion of the Finals, in a successful bubble at the Walt Disney Resort in Orlando (Florida) in which no positive for coronavirus was detected, with the Los Angeles Lakers ring against Miami Heat on October 11, both the League and the union worked on different dates with the objectives of reducing losses, not overlap with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and try to get the public into the pavilions.
For the first two, December 22 was preferred as this will allow the impact of the NBA to be harnessed on Christmas Day and end the season before the start of the Olympic event, which is scheduled for July 23, one day after the deadline for the title playoffs to end.
The fulfillment of the 72-game schedule without having to compete with the Tokyo Games, will allow the NBA to raise between 500 (423 million euros) and 1,000 (846 million euros) more for television rights in the short and long term, figures that have allowed the League to maintain the salary limit -109,140 million dollars (92,640 million euros) and the luxury tax – 132,627 million dollars (112,577 million euros) -.
In addition to the start date of the competition, The NBA announced that free agency will open three days after the draft, on November 21 at 10 am on the East Coast of the United States.
The reduction from 82 to 72 games per franchise avoids travel and at the same time risk of contagion, since the League wants to avoid the organization of another bubble and pursues the objective of allowing the public to enter the pavilions, with a great limitation of capacity.
Decision with the aim of reducing losses since the NBA has already reported that if during the 2020-2021 season you have to compete without fans in the venues, the losses could amount to 4,000 million dollars (3,385 million euros).