The COVID-19 pandemic forced the NBA in a new direction, but the league is now ready to reverse course.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the NBA will return to its pre-COVID calendar this upcoming season. The first set of games for the 2021-22 campaign will tip-off on October 19th, and a champion will be named by mid-June.
Sources: Key dates for the 2021-22 NBA season:
Sept. 28: Training camp starts
Oct. 19: Regular season starts
April 16: Playoffs start
June 2: Finals Game 1
June 19: Finals Game 7
June 23: 2022 NBA Draft
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 10, 2021
A return to the old format will, once again, give players a shortened offseason. The NBA experienced the shortest offseason in league history last year after the Finals ended on October 11th in the Orlando Bubble. Teams were given only 72 days to rest up before the start of the 2020-21 season on December 22nd. The numbers back up the fact that this, combined with the condensed schedule this past regular season, led to the spike in injuries we saw this season. With that in mind, I have to imagine a number of players and coaches will be frustrated with another relatively quick ramp-up.
At the same time, this should set the league on a much better path moving forward. Not only was it clear last summer that the league’s ratings did not perform as well during the summer months, but this is the lifestyle most players, coaches, and executives are most accustomed to.
Anyway, make sure to mark your calendars now that the Bulls play on October 19th and on June 2nd. Can’t wait!