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NBA Approves December 22 Start For Reduced 72-Game Season

T
he NBA and its players union (NBPA) have approved a December 22, 2020/21 season start date for a reduced 72-game season.

With the 2020 NBA Finals having wrapped up in October, the NBA is set to have the shortest offseason in U.S major sports history, 71 days, leaving just 51 days between the end of the 2019/20 season and team training camps.

The announced date means the offseason is nearly half the league’s previous shortest offseason in history, which was 127 days, however, ESPN reported by starting before Christmas, opposed to the proposed January 2021 start date by the players, the NBA will save between USD$500 million and USD$1 billion in revenue.

In response to the start date being announced, Los Angeles Lakers guard, Danny Green, told The Ringer both he and superstar, LeBron James, could miss the first month of the next season recovering from the “grind” that was the 2020 NBA ‘bubble’.

The move to cut 10 games off the season, down to 72 games, was also reportedly made to help protect the 2021/22 NBA season and ensure it can start at its regular time of the year with a full, 82-game schedule for each team.

A report from The Athletic has confirmed the NBA is hoping to have games for the upcoming season with 25-50% fan capacity in venues, depending on each local venue’s restrictions, as the league is doing whatever possible to avoid returning to the controversial bubble system.

In preparation of the 2020/21 NBA season, the NBA has named Mediahub, part of the Interpublic Group of Companied (IPG) advertising agency, as its new media buying partner, along with appointing the Cartwright creative agency to promote the 2020/21 season.

The NBA spent over USD$82 million on media through 2019 according to a report from Kantar Media and reached a decision to bring in Mediahub as the new media buying partner after conducting a review of its buying and planning account.

The review was completed alongside strategic advisory group, MediaLink.