Once the pandemic hit virtually every sport was shelved until the situation improved. Basketball is no exception. The 2019-2020 NBA season cut their season short on March 11th. Luckily for basketball fans everywhere, with COVID-19 cases on the come-down, basketball may make its return to courts and TV screens everywhere sooner then you think.
On June 4th, it was announced by the NBA’s Board of Governors that 22 teams would be allowed to return to play with a tentative start day on July 30th. Though nothing is set in stone, this is the first step for a semblance of a normal 2020 basketball season.
The teams slated to return are the following:
Eastern Conference: Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards
Western Conference: Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets, LA Clippers, LA Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans, Oklahoma City Thunder, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz
The Board of Governors chose the 16 teams in the playoffs, and the additional six teams were compiled based on who was six games or less behind the eighth team in each of their respective conferences.
The NBA and NBPA assures the public that they are consulting public health officials on how to best resume a season whilst remaining safe and healthy during the pandemic.
According to the official NBA web page, if games begin on July 30th as scheduled then the 2020 NBA season can begin on Dec. 1st 2020. From the looks of it, nothing is set in stone but the NBA is working hard to ensure that the public can soon enjoy professional basketball once again.