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New NBA season may start on December 22

New NBA season may start on December 22
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) dribbles while defended by Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler during the second quarter in game six of the 2020 NBA Finals at AdventHealth Arena. (Reuters)

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The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) tentatively approved December 22 as the start date for the 2020-21 season with a reduced 72-game schedule.

The 2019-20 season was only completed in October after a four-month delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with teams competing in a bio-secure bubble at Walt Disney World in Orlando.

The start date announcement followed a formal vote of player representatives, NPBA said.

“Additional details remain to be negotiated and the NBPA is confident that the parties will reach agreement on these remaining issues relevant to the upcoming season,” the NBPA said in a statement here on Thursday.

The NBA has pushed back the draft from October 16 to November 18, with training camps set to begin in early December.

ESPN had reported, citing unnamed sources, that finishing the 2020-21 season before next year’s Tokyo Olympics in mid-July would be worth between $500 million and $1 billion in short and long-term revenues to the league and players.

The Los Angeles Lakers captured a record-tying 17th NBA Championship on October 12 with a 106-93 victory over the Miami Heat that sealed the best-of-seven title series 4-2. (Reuters)