LeBron James is coming off impressively leading the LA Lakers to their 17th NBA title. The league’s attention has quickly shifted toward next season as there still isn’t a start date nailed down. The chatter has moved to a potential December resumption. However, that could see James play a significant part in determining the NBA’s decision concerning when next season will begin.
NBA leaning toward starting next season in December
The NBA put forth the incredible feat of restarting their 2019-20 season in the Orlando Bubble situation without much of a hitch.
The league managed to work their way through the entire playoffs without a single positive COVID-19 test and crown a champion. The focus now moves toward finding a start date for next season.
Recent reports have surfaced that the NBA could explore the route of beginning the 2021-22 campaign on Dec. 22. The plan would put forth a 72-game regular-season schedule and finish before the Tokyo Olympics next year.
With that in mind, things could quickly shift away from that game plan after what Danny Green just potentially revealed about LeBron James.
Danny Green says LeBron James could miss the first month
The NBA has moved forward with the notion of potentially starting up next season just before Christmas.
However, the idea hasn’t been met with a sweeping positive reaction given the quick turnaround from last season. Among those may be reigning NBA Finals MVP LeBron James as his teammate Danny Green voiced in a recent interview on The Ringer NBA Show that he could envision the 35-year-old missing the first month of the upcoming campaign.
“If we start in December, I think most guys [are like] ‘I’m not going to be there…to have that quick of a restart, I wouldn’t expect [LeBron] to be there for the 1st month of the season.”
Green’s comments may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it speaks to the necessity of having a full offseason to recover physically. James will be heading into his 18th season and will need every bit of that time to prepare for an entire campaign.
Although only a few teams had a deep run into the playoffs, the offseason is vital for players to recuperate their bodies. That factor alone could be enough to push the NBA to consider pushing back the start date to next season a later time.
Much to unfold over the upcoming offseason
The NBA has presumptively circled a December start time for next season, but several hurdles remain to push through first.
The league office still hasn’t presented a formal proposal that will need the owners and NBPA’s vote of approval. The NBA has a sense of urgency to get that done in the coming weeks with the 2020 Draft set for Nov. 18 and free agency shortly after.
The initial chatter around the situation centered on possibly beginning next season in January around Martin Lurther King Jr. Day. The later date would provide another vital month for players to prepare to play an entire campaign. The NBA has its options on the table, but it could see much more pushback stemming from the players.
The NBA is clearly attempting to garner as much profit as they can after their shortened 2019-20 season. Ultimately, there will be much more clarity on this front in the coming weeks.