CHICAGO – When the Lakers captured their 17th NBA Championship on October 11th, there were a number of teams and fans wondering when the next season may begin.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still going on around the country with no end in sight, the start of the 2020-2021 season was a bit of a mystery as the final two teams left the Orlando bubble.
Would the league be able to start the campaign before the new year? Would they opt to do something in January or February with perhaps another season extending deep into the summer? Will it be in a bubble and is it wishful thinking to believe some fans could be in the stands?
Per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the league is looking at a possible 70-72 game schedule that would start shortly before Christmas and finish before the summer games begin in Japan.
With this plan would come a potential play-in tournament for playoff teams as well along with a two-week midseason break. Per Wojnarowski, the league discussed this plan in a board of governors call on Friday with the hopes of completing final arrangements for the plan quickly.
The amount of games and time are similar to what the league did during the 2011-2012 season that was delayed nearly two months due to the lockout. Teams eventually played a 66-game schedule that began on Christmas Day with the NBA Finals finishing on June 26th.
This would be good news for the Bulls, since it’s been quite a while since they’ve taken the court.
It was on March 10th that the Bulls last played a game, beating the Cavaliers at the United Center in Coby White’s first NBA start. The NBA season was suspended the next day after the positive COVID-19 tests of Jazz players Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell.
Since the Bulls didn’t qualify for the NBA bubble, the only court time they’ve had as a team since the pandemic were workouts the league has allowed this fall.
Naturally new head coach Billy Donovan and his players are hoping to hit the court sooner than later, which this proposed NBA schedule would allow them to do.