Miami Heat Player Details Why the NBA is Taking Time to Figure Out the Start of the Season

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The NBA is attempting to create a plan to start the new season. The 2020-21 NBA season already endured a series of complications. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many sporting leagues are struggling to create a safe plan for sports to return.

With television deals being a major source of revenue for the NBA, they will be looking to resume the season soon. Due to the extended lockdown, many leagues had to be shut down.

However, the NBA found a way around it by creating the Orlando Bubble in order to complete the 2019-2020 season. The rules in the Bubble were strict; so much so that accompanying family members were prohibited, and players had to be tested regularly.

While the Bubble was a suitable option to complete the remainder of the NBA season, it cannot work for the entire season. Players and staff won’t accept being away from their families for the duration of the full season.

Additionally, the cost of operating from the Disney resort in Orlando is too high.

Boston Celtics' Enes Kanter attempts a shot against the Miami Heat
Sep 25, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter (11) scores a basket against the Miami Heat during the first half in game five of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA wants to eventually allow fans back into arenas in a limited capacity. Due to the pandemic, there can be no large indoor gatherings to avoid the risk of mass infections.

The lack of fans creates a vacuum for revenue. This puts the NBA at the mercy of the television broadcasters who provide the lion’s share of their wealth. Yet the NBA players have shown reluctance to start the new season in December, just 2 months after the NBA Finals.

Reports emerged recently that the NBA could stand to lose $1 billion if the players refuse to start the season in December. Negotiations are on between the league and the NBPA (players’ association) regarding the start of the new season. However, it may not be easy.

ALSO READ- NBA Could Lose Over a Billion Dollars Because of Players’ Reluctance to Start Early: REPORTS

NBA player discusses the new season

Miami Heat’s Meyers Leonard spoke about the challenges plaguing the start of next season. He said, “I’m just a blue-collar dude who loves what he does. Whatever I’m asked to do I’m going to do it.

“Now, certainly, most NBA guys want a little downtime. I’d say both to have downtime and to work on their game. I know for me personally, I’m just now fully healthy.

“And I would love to have more time to work on a few things that I would in every off-season. But we’re just not sure. I think that it’s rationally possible in terms of money and TV deals.

“All those things matter of course. I play the game because I love it. Obviously, everyone wants to get paid, and that always is a factor.” 

Leonard also pointed out the considerations that need to be made regarding the players. “But you have to weigh out everything, see what’s going to happen with the TV deals, salary cap, etc.

“What are the implications if we start later? What are the real most important things, how can we get fans back into the arena….

“There are so many different components that I’m sure the NBA, the PA, everybody is on the phone nonstop to try and figure out what is best for both sides. I know that they do care about the players, but at the end of the day, it is a business.

“People have signed contracts, players, and other personnel. So it’s trying to play this balancing act of I guess what would be fair but then what’s also rational and real.”

The NBA Season is still in limbo with respect to the start of the next season, as negotiations with the players are on. League executives and commissioner Adam Silver will be hoping to arrive at an agreement with the players sometime soon.

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