Against all odds, the NBA successfully created a bubble to host the 2020 playoffs. It's a remarkable achievement that will not fade as time goes on. But that's only the first step in trying to right the basketball ship after the season was postponed for four months. It will probably be at least a year, if not more, before we go back to the October-June schedule that we've all gotten used to over the decades.
The first priority will be ensuring the bubble comes to a close with no further issues, with the last possible NBA Finals game set to take place in the second week of October. Then the arduous process of scheduling the 2020-21 season will begin. Initially, the NBA wanted to have the next season start up in December, but that plan fell apart as players left the bubble and the NBAPA wanted a longer offseason to rest and recover, especially for the teams who've made it to this point. Appearing on CNN today, commissioner Adam Silver gave us the first update on the new-look schedule, saying his best guess is that the earliest starting date for next season would come in January.
This means, among many other things, that there will be no basketball to watch on Christmas Day this year. And that sucks. We all have been forced to get used to the "new normal" in just about every facet of our lives, but nonetheless. Hiding from my family to watch the NBA is a time-honored tradition, as I'm sure it is for many others. It's like football on Thanksgiving. One doesn't feel right without the other.
I prefer this reality, where the NBA finishes the playoffs and crowns a champion at the expense of next season, to any alternatives. But I will miss the NBA on Christmas Day, and its return is likely far on the horizon.