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#pounditSunday, March 7, 2021

Report: NBA deciding between 60 or 72-game season

Adam Silver

The details about the next NBA season are beginning to take further shape.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported Tuesday that the NBA and NBPA are deciding between two possibilities for next season. The first possibility is to start on Dec. 22, play 72 games, finish the regular season in mid-May, and finish the NBA Finals around July 22. The second possibility is to start on Jan. 18, play 60 games, finish the regular season in June, and finish the Finals around Aug. 21.

Charania adds that a vote is planned for Thursday night or Friday morning. A December start would generate significantly more revenue for the league, especially in the Christmas week, but would afford players less rest. Giving players more rest and starting in January would come at a steeper financial cost. It would also interfere with the Summer 2021 Olympics and affect ad sales for television networks, Charania notes.

Another issue for the two sides to resolve is that of player salary escrow. Charania reports that the NBA and NBPA are negotiating a three-year withholding period. The former desires 25 percent and the latter is proposing 15 percent.

Reports earlier this week suggested that the NBA’s desire for the season to start by Christmas was looking increasingly unlikely. Now it looks like that could still happen, but we should know by the end of the week regardless.


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