The 2020-21 NBA season was like no other, as the coronavirus pandemic forced Commissioner Adam Silver and the league to change standards to accommodate health and safety guidelines.
The biggest change for the 2020-21 season concerns its start time. After the conclusion of the Orlando 2020 bubble with the Los Angeles Lakers hoisting the NBA championship, the league decided to start the coming season in late December.
The quick succession resulted in a shortened offseason for teams that competed in the bubble, including the Lakers and Miami Heat, who made six games in the NBA Finals and received limited rest afterwards.
Another big change saw the regular season drop from 82 games to 72 games, which increased the frequency of back-to-back games and one-day rests.
With the NBA playoffs underway, the league is already planning next season’s start date. On ESPN’s “Keyshawn, JWill and Zubin”, the show interviewed Silver about the league’s plans.
We’re looking to get back to our regular schedule… our plan is to start over about, about a week, from mid-October to the end of October of this year. “
Silver went into great detail about how the NBA would need a shorter offseason to achieve that goal, but it wouldn’t be the same length as last year. Otherwise, the league would continue a cycle of shortened offseason.
Silver noted how the NBA Finals normally end at the end of June in a normal year, but due to the late start time this season, the playoffs may not end until the end of June. July 22 if the finals extend to seven games, which is why reduce the offseason. is necessary to return to normal.
If the Lakers reach the NBA Finals again, this will be the second straight season they’ll be one of the two teams with the least amount of rest heading into next year. Superstars across the league will also need to plan a trip to Tokyo for the Olympics, which are set to begin in July.
This vital rest seemed to hurt them during the regular season, literally, as many players, from LeBron James to Anthony Davis, suffered injuries that kept them out for a long time.
But if Los Angeles can reach the 18 title this year, it would be worth it.
Check out the full conversation here, courtesy of ESPN YouTube Channel.