Adam Silver Anticipates Full NBA Season for 2021-22
Hopefully, a return to (relative) normalcy
Last season, the NBA found itself in an unprecedented position with respect to the pandemic. Its solution — the much-discussed bubble — offered other sports leagues a template for safely resuming games and showed viewers a temporary “new normal” where league games were played in otherwise empty venues. The bubble has come up again since then, including for this year’s All-Star Game.
As the pace of vaccinations increases across the country and a new new normal that more closely resembles the old normal is in sight, sports leagues face a new question: what’s their plan moving forward? It’s something that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver addressed in a recent interview.
Sportico’s Barry M. Bloom reports that Silver recently shared his expectations for the 2021-22 season in a press conference on Saturday. Most immediately, Silver stated that the league does not anticipate using a bubble for the playoffs this season.
Silver also said that he and the owners of the league’s teams anticipated a relatively normal season for 2021-22. As of now, the plan is to begin in the fall and play 82 games; the main difference from years past will be a lack of international games, which are set to return in 2022-23.
“Frankly, I’m fairly optimistic that we’ll be able to start on time,” Silver said. “Roughly half of our teams have fans in our arenas right now.” He also noted that, given the current pace of vaccinations, teams playing to “relatively full” arenas by the fall seemed likely.
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