How the 2020-2021 NBA season will work


With the new NBA season getting ready to tip off in less than two weeks, the NBA and its fans are more than ready for this season to begin. The league is pushing to have the most normal season possible during this pandemic, with teams going back to playing home and away games and fans possibly being allowed depending on the team. 

It is safe to say that when the teams start travel there will be an even stricter protocol they would need to follow than when there were in the Bubble. Just like in the Bubble, players and coaching staff will be tested everyday. The NBA will also give two tests a week to families of players and coaching staff. If a player or coach tests positive, that individual must be quarantined 10-14 days before they can come back to the team or they can wait 24 hours and test again to see if the first test was a false positive. 

Team traveling parties will be limited to 45 people, and anyone who doesn’t abide by the guidelines will either result in a loss of pay, fine, or suspension. Players and coaches are suggested to stay away from gatherings of 15 people or higher. When traveling, teams are permitted to eat at restaurants with outside seating or a fully privatized indoor room.

With the first set of games supposed to tip off on Dec. 22nd, teams will play a 72 game season, which is 10 games shorter than a normal season. Regular season play is set to end around mid-May and the 2021 Finals are projected for July. The 2021 All Star game and festivities is projected for March 5-10, midway through this shortened season. 

Once a vaccine is available, the league will negotiate whether players and coaching staff will be required to receive it. If it is not required, adjustments to the safety provisions, such as requiring more masking or testing of those who choose not to receive the vaccination, might be implemented.