Report: Michele Roberts Thinks 2020-21 NBA Season Could Start Between Jan-March

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 14, 2020

Washington Wizards and Phoenix Suns players stand together behind a Black Lives Matters logo before an NBA basketball game Friday, July 31, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP)
Kim Klement/Associated Press

The 2019-20 NBA season's restart in Disney World has been a resounding success, but questions about the 2020-21 season remain amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

On that front, NBPA executive director Michele Roberts reportedly spoke with groups of players and relayed a few messages, per Henry Abbott of True Hoop.

Of note, Roberts believes the current collective bargaining agreement between the league and NBPA is "toast," per Abbott, although optimism reigns about negotiating a new one.

In addition, the 2020-21 season is likely to begin between late January or early March, with the caveat that the latter time frame would affect NBA players' abilities to participate in the 2021 Summer Olympics.

The end date of the 2019-20 season has affected the start of next season. This campaign was suspended over four months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to the point where Game 7 of the NBA Finals this year is scheduled for Oct. 13.

NBA regular seasons typically start in October, but that's not practical this year.

A Dec. 1 date has previously been thrown out by the NBA, to the point where it's listed on an FAQ about this year's restart. However, that would mean a two-month break (or less) for teams who go deep in this year's playoffs.

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In addition, a COVID-19 vaccine isn't likely to be ready and made available to the public until at least early 2021, per Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

That would likely prevent any chance of fans attending NBA games and could mean that the regional bubble idea that has been thrown about, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, must be put into action to at least buy time.

As far as the CBA goes, the league has lost much revenue due to the lack of fan attendance and loss of games. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was quoted as saying the following in May, per Wojnarowski.

"This CBA was not built for an extended pandemic," Silver told the NBPA, per ESPN.

"There's not a mechanism in it that works to properly set the cap when you've got so much uncertainty; when our revenue could be $10 billion or it could be $6 billion. Or less."

Wojnarowski reported that the league "reached an agreement with the [NBPA] to extend until September the 60-day window that preserves the league's right to terminate the collective bargaining agreement in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic."

Plenty of questions remain for the NBA, but for now, the league is set to begin its postseason Monday.