The coronavirus is going to change sports in ways we can’t even comprehend yet. One potential change that is gaining more and more momentum right now is not only a short-term tweak to the NBA schedule but perhaps a permanent alteration to the hoops calendar. As the NBA begins to ramp up its efforts in…Should NBA Go With Mark Cuban’s Idea And Start NBA Season On Christmas Full Time? — NESN.com
The coronavirus is going to change sports in ways we can’t even comprehend yet. One potential change that is gaining more and more momentum right now is not only a short-term tweak to the NBA schedule but perhaps a permanent alteration to the hoops calendar. As the NBA begins to ramp up its efforts in an attempt to find a safe date and way to resume its season after pausing due to COVID-19, the league is doing so with a measured approach. NBA commissioner Adam Silver insists the league has plenty of time to make a decision, as the parties involved are more than content with postponing the start of next season in order to crown a 2020 champion. Most of the conversation has centered around starting next season on Christmas Day. That would mean one of two things: Either the 2020-21 season will be shortened, or next season will extend through late summer. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban hopes it’s the latter, and he hopes that’s a schedule the NBA adopts full time. “I’ve been saying that for 15 years, and the reason I’ve been shot down is there’s a thing called H.U.T.: households using television,” Cuban explained during an appearance on the “Pardon My Take” podcast Friday. “During the summer, that drops, right? A lot fewer people are watching TV because they can be outside. In the past, that was a big deal, so you wanted to end by June to maximize when people would watch on TV. But you guys know as well as anybody, TV’s changed. TV has changed a lot. So we’re gonna have a lot more options and a lot more flexibility to start later and end later. Rather than taking on football with our (early-season) games, let’s let them get close to the playoff and go wholeheartedly starting Christmas Day.” More: Here’s What NBA Players Poll Revealed About Resuming Season Whether the NBA makes that change full time remains to be seen, but perhaps they could use this year as a trial balloon. Everything is trending in that direction already. As Cuban explained, that sort of timeframe would give the NBA a pretty big window to finish the current season, with Cuban saying they could restart the league as late as July. “Let’s just assume we don’t start next season until Christmas Day,” he said. “If we work backward from there … let’s just say we happen to have 60 days (in between seasons). So, November, October and then a training camp — so we’d have to be done (with this season) by mid-September. … If we start sometime in July, we might be able to make it.” That certainly would be an interesting scenario. If this became a full-time thing, sports fans desperate for something other than regular-season baseball in late summer would also have the NBA playoffs to watch. As Cuban says, the goal is to be done by mid-September, which is right when the NFL season begins. Maybe the NBA tweaks its schedule so that the final game of the playoffs couldn’t be played before the football season begins, and we’d time it up perfectly so maybe Game 7 of the NBA Finals is on Labor Day weekend, and the NFL begins the very next weekend. All the while, you’d also have the MLB stretch run. Not bad, huh? Of course, the more pressing issue right now for the NBA and every league is to ensure a safe return to play. But if they’re willing (and even preferring) to wait, they might give themselves their best chance of getting it done, which could potentially set up a change that forever alters the sports landscape.
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