Big news! We might get to see Knicks basketball in 2020 again!
(Barely, but still.)
NBA Twitter was alight when ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, The Athletic’s Shams Chanaria and the NY Times’ Marc Stein came out of the woodwork all at once to announce the NBA’s plan to potentially start the season on Christmas day:
The NBA is planning to continue discussions with NBPA on 2020-2021 start plans that would include an opening night in the days prior to Christmas, 70-to-72 regular season games and a play-in tournament, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/aTobRpe9tZ— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 23, 2020
NBA and NBPA have been in conversations about the Dec. 22 proposal. It’s been important for teams and players to get back on a normal schedule, allow players to receive their summers. Dialogue will continue. https://t.co/EgHrlH2SrZ— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 23, 2020
The push for a Christmas Day start to the 2020-21 NBA season, which would naturally please the league's TV partners, is gaining momentum, league sources say— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) October 23, 2020
So, what’s the deal here? Basically, it seems like the NBA is trying to get the 2020-21 season off the ground quite a bit sooner than expected, when previously Martin Luther King Jr. Day or later had been discussed as a potential start date. Money talks, obviously, and the $500 million potential loss mentioned by Shams was almost absolutely a driving factor.
What does this mean for the players? For one, more of the dreaded back-to-back-to-backs we saw in the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season. With six more games planned than the ‘11-12 season (which also started on Christmas) and the NBA season trying to conclude before next summer’s Olympics, there will surely be more back-to-backs and back-to-back-to-backs than ‘11-12. The difference this time being, the NBA Finals just wrapped up in October. Last time around, starting on Christmas actually gave the players more rest heading into the season, not an unprecedentedly short offseason.
But, strictly as Knicks fans, this means we might get to see our team again in 2020! One teeny, tiny, silver lining in this hellscape of a year. If you’re interested in some more on this, Jeremy Cohen and I tackled it over at The Strickland!