NBA players to vote on December start date later this week

Mavericks guard/forward Luka Doncic drives to the basket as Clippers guard Patrick Beverley defends.

The NBA players union will vote Thursday night or Friday morning on whether to tip off the 2020-21 season Dec. 22, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Next season’s start date has been a hot topic, with the league pushing for Dec. 22 and the players reportedly leaning toward January, or more specifically, Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 18).

Per Charania, union executive director Michele Roberts and the players began holding conference calls Monday, with every team taking part and the calls to continue on through Thursday morning.

So far, those calls seem to suggest that the season will indeed start Dec. 22, resulting in a 72-game season.

Whenever the league starts will have a direct impact on revenue.

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, a start in January would shorten the schedule to just 50 games.

But Charania reported that number would actually be 60 games.

Either way, the latter would still affect the players’ pocketbooks, as less games “would reduce player salaries significantly since NBA pay adheres to a regular-season schedule,” Stein wrote.

On the other hand, a 72-game season would involve about 14 games a month for each team through May, with the season wrapping up in time for the Tokyo Olympic in July, per Stein.

A 72-game regular season would end in May, Charania wrote, with a 60-game regular-season likely concluding in June.

About the Author

Sam Amico
Sam Amico is the founder and senior writer of Amico Hoops. He has covered the NBA on a full-time basis for both Sports Illustrated and FOX Sports, and has been a regular contributor to CBS Sports, the Boston Herald and

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