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Around the Realm: NBA back by Christmas?

It's a holiday miracle!

Welcome to Around the Realm, where we look at the top news stories from around the league. If I missed any notable stories, feel free to discuss in the comments!

The NBA might be back as quick as St. Nick!

Today's big news is that the NBA is going to try to return by Christmas, according to reports from the who's who of NBA reporting.

The key, as always, is the money. By resuming the season quickly, the league can make its TV partners happy and secure the league's TV revenues (most regional sports network contracts pay in full as long as 70 games are played).

What this also signals, though, is that the league isn't banking on fans in the arenas to start the season. Zach Lowe and Bill Simmons discussed this on a recent episode of The Lowe Post, that the NBA could be moving away from fans in the arenas this year since there's no guarantee that further delays guarantee fan attendance. The league is likely viewing this as another down year, but by starting in December the league can finish in a timely manner to get the normal league schedule back on track for the following year.

This does have other ramifications as well. The Draft is set for November 18th. If the season is going to start by December 22nd, we're looking at the draft, free agency, and training camp all being squeezed into a one month period. There probably won't be many, if any, preseason games. It's going to be a crazy month.

Woj also added that the All Star Game could be a casualty as well.

 

Amar'e Stoudemire joins the Nets (as a coach)

The other NBA news of the day is that Amar'e Stoudemire is joining Steve Nash's coaching staff in Brooklyn.

Mike D'Antoni was also rumored to potentially join Nash's staff, so we'll see if they continue to add to the Seven Seconds or Less coaching staff. No word yet on 7 Time All-Star Joe Johnson.

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SMF-PDXConnection
1 month ago

I’m not gonna think about Christmas until we get past November.

Now, maybe this is just me, but if I’m an NBA team owner and I’m thinking about the investment made in the players, the coaches, and the support staff and I was still insistent on getting some fans in the stands for some ticket revenue, only way I’d do that is in the upper deck seats. We know now that the whole 6′ rule isn’t entirely accurate indoors (more like 17′ from what I’ve read depending on ventilation conditions), to say nothing of people just disregarding whatever rules are put in place anyways. Not that it really matters to me personally, there’s no way I’m getting in an indoor crowd like that until I’ve been vaccinated and statistics show at least 50% vaccination rate.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
1 month ago
Reply to  Greg

One thing that I think is going to come out of all this is a league that may be reluctant to sign a large cable deal. Could they become the first major league sport to go 100% pay per view on their own service? Could we see an expansion/transition of League Pass to not just include a season, but the purchase of individual specific games?

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
1 month ago
Reply to  Greg

But how are they going to get that large TV deal if tv ratings are down? We may see a lot more games on NBATV if the networks aren’t going to pay up. This is where I think the league may be the first to use tech for alternate viewing methods. Weren’t they playing around with virtual watching? Would folks pay to watch a game virtually from courtside? It wouldn’t surprise me if we are getting closer to that ability.

CoreyBrewersD
1 month ago
Reply to  Adamsite

I am still thinking the TV ratings are due to too many options. After Baseball ends in 10-12 days that’s when B-ball picks up. I assume the Soup or bowl (no copyright infringement here) is done nearly Feb. that is 3 months of no competition. The ratings will be back at that point?

richie88
1 month ago
Reply to  CoreyBrewersD

That was probably the main reason ratings were down. Since the NHL is focusing on a January or February start date, the NBA might not have competition during a brief span in the post-Super Bowl period, but it’ll have the NHL as competition at some point (though the NBA tends to beat the NHL in the ratings battle).

Wonderchild
1 month ago
Reply to  Greg

Maybe a PPV model would be incentive to improve league pass. If they were thinking of going that route, it would make sense to use an existing product.

Unfortunately, right now that probably means negotiating partial revenue to every single local TV market on a per game basis. That sounds like a giant PITA.

SMF-PDXConnection
1 month ago
Reply to  Greg

You’re absolutely right. I’m sure teams (or at least smart teams) are already crunching how much revenue they can get back just on TV and merchandise without having fans in the stands. Plus, at a certain level, fans in the stands might not even be a break even point financially because fans in attendance means bringing more paid personnel into the arena, food and drink costs, security, etc. There’s certainly some threshold where a minimum of X number of fans in the building turns a profit on concessions and worker wages, but I’m guessing it’s above the 50% high threshold that would be in effect in certain markets.

Plus, with the vaccine, the average person (not in a high risk setting like medical or EMT) is most likely waiting until next fall at the earliest to get vaccinated anyways.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
1 month ago

I like the idea of the baseball series type of schedule. That could definitely help with the travel restrictions and scheduling of arenas. My guess is they play in empty arenas because this thing is going to be gone by Christmas but is likely to be worse.

From that, if the arenas are going to be empty, why not just some mini bubbles where one arena per region is used for teams? An example could be one California arena where all 4 teams play a bunch of series games over the span of a few weeks? Same for Texas and the Central Division. Chicago could host the Pacers, Bucks, T-Wolves, and Pistons for a bunch of games that kind of run as a tournament where every team plays each other at least twice.

Also, they should just start free agency right now. I’ve always liked the idea of having it BEFORE the draft. I could be a new and interesting wrinkle to the offseason.

SMF-PDXConnection
1 month ago
Reply to  Adamsite

I think what makes the most sense on its face to me (admittedly not knowing the various intricacies that go into creating the NBA schedule) is you have the division series be the typical four games and then just play two games each against non-divisional/conference teams. Does it really make that much of a difference that the Lakers and Nuggets or Bucks and Heat would only have two regular season meetings?

richie88
1 month ago

That’d lead to 66 games, not the 72 games that the NBA’s proposing.

RobHessing
1 month ago

A very Kangzy Christmas – comment image

Klam
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
1 month ago
Reply to  RobHessing

This is definitely going to be a light holiday season coming up…none of my extended family gatherings for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Chinese New Year for 2021 (which is usually in January or February). Probably my brother (along with his girlfriend) and I stopping by my parents’ place in Sac for a bit for the holidays this year, but that’s probably going to be it.

Last edited 1 month ago by Klam
Wonderchild
1 month ago

No mention of basically all of ESPN going behind their paywall? I guess it was about time.

I wonder if Woj bombs will just be E+ links from now on.

richie88
1 month ago

That seems like a ridiculously optimistic date that seems impractical. I don’t see how the NBA can easily do everything that needs to be done between the draft & this proposed date.

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