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!
Owners and Player are publicly negotiating the start date
We've seen recent reports with vague numbers as to how much revenue was saved or lost by the NBA this season. We've also seen reports that the NBA owners would like to start the season on December 22nd. Those two points are now colliding as the NBPA is pushing back and asking for a later start date.
For the side of the owners, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe magically got their hands on the exact league numbers for the league's gains and losses last season, as well as projections for additional losses in the coming year.
The 2019-20 season losses are slight in comparison to what awaits the NBA in 2020-21 if the season advances without fans and accompanying gate-night receipts, the league told teams -- a projected 40% loss in overall revenue, or approximately $4 billion.
I'm sure it's coincidence that ESPN got a report showing MASSIVE losses if the league plays without fans at the same time that the league is trying to expedite a return to earning revenue via TV deals as quickly as possible.
For the players, they are negotiating via Sham Charania of the Athletic and Chris Haynes of Yahoo.
Ahead of next deadline on NBA CBA, NBPA’s Michele Roberts tells @TheAthleticNBA: “The union and the players...will not be rushed. Given all that has to be resolved between now and a Dec. 22 date…it defies common sense that it can all be done in time.”https://t.co/9uuBAznV15
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 29, 2020
Yahoo Sources: Substantial faction of players and star players pushing for NBA season to start Jan. 18 — MLK Day — with a free-agency commencement of Dec. 1.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) October 28, 2020
I generally side with players over management in NBA disputes, but this feels very strange to me. The players are arguing that they need more time off, an extra month, before returning to play. But this comes after players had a 5 month gap from March to August, followed by a shortened, no-travel Bubble that concluded about two months before the new season would begin. Anyone other than the Lakers and Heat played for less than two months. Some teams didn't play at all.
This feels very much like LeBron James doesn't want to start up again, and it steering the NBPA with him. And lest you think I'm throwing LeBron under the bus for no reason, Danny Green said on The Ringer that if the season starts in December that LeBron would skip the first month.
Lakers guard Danny Green on the proposed Dec. 22 start to next season:
"If we start in December, I think most guys [are like] 'I'm not going to be there... to have that quick of a restart, I wouldn't expect [LeBron] to be there for the 1st month of the season." pic.twitter.com/NYqNxzNEmZ
— Logan Murdock (@loganmmurdock) October 26, 2020
Skipping the first month after a December 22nd start would mean LeBron starting around....MLK Day.
Houston Rockets hire Stephen Silas
After a prolonged coaching search, the Houston Rockets have hired a new head coach. First reported by Adrian Wojnarowski, the Rockets hired Stephen Silas.
Rockets were sold on Silas' offensive ingenuity, his pedigree w/ Rick Carlisle, Steve Clifford and his father, Paul Silas. Silas has coached some remarkable guards in his NBA career, including Luka Doncic, Kemba Walker, Steph Curry. Now he gets to run offense for Harden-Westbrook https://t.co/52Qfuknilb
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 28, 2020
Silas has extensive experience as an assistant coach and seems like a solid choice to become a head coach. Whether he can help the Rockets reach their goals with their current roster is a whole different question.
I know the “there’s only 30 NBA head coaching jobs” line has been a Sacramento favorite for years, but I truly do not envy Stephen Silas trying to figure out how to keep the Rockets at the level they’ve come to expect.
Yeah, I think Houston is headed down the road to the next hot mess team in the league. They’ve got a wonky capped out roster, two maxed out stars on the wrong side of 30, and no future assets. They remind me a bit of the fully leveraged Nets of 2013 who sold all future assets to assemble an aging Garnett and Pierce. It took a total and complete rebuild to fix that team.
Do you think there’s anything that can be inferred from the hiring? Silas is a younger coach who’s not a huge name…could it signal an intent to rebuild sooner than later? Ferititta being cheap? Or just a young, smart up and comer who impressed during interviews?
I will note that a quick record check showed that Silas has been an assistant for 20 years apparently, so he’s definitely earned his way to the top spot.
I’d hope the lat although Ferititta will always deserve the cheap label. That said, Silas has been an assistant for 21 years now, so I wouldn’t really think that his age means anything about their immediate direction.
A little from column A, a little from column B. I think Silas is a fine candidate to become a head coach. I think the Rockets hired an assistant rather than a proven coach because Fertitta is cheap.
I don’t know. They have a lot of issues, but it’s hard for me to feel bad when he has a historically efficient perennial MVP candidate to work with.
It isn’t just the players who are being rushed though. So are coaches, front office staff, strength and conditioning staff, scouting departments, agents, etc.
To me, it’s worth ripping off the bandaid this coming season and returning to a mostly normal schedule in the 2021-2022 season.
I tend to agree with Roberts that this is a very tight timeframe. Talking about putting fans back in the stands, no bubble, with COVID rates skyrocketing? During the winter, when everyone expects this pandemic to get much worse?
It’s more dangerous for the players and it’s more dangerous for the fans.
Evaluating all that to the league’s, the players’, and the local and state governments’ satisfaction and starting the season in (checks calendar) 54 days? Hard to fathom.
I’ll say what I said prior to the bubble season – if they come up with something Dr. Fauci and other high level virologists/immunologists agreed with, I’d be inclined to give the league the benefit of the doubt.
Otherwise, we’re getting ready to watch Gladiator 2, just with the bonus of spectator deaths.
Everything I’ve read is assuming NBA gave up on the prospect of having a significant number of fans in the stands, and therefore moved up the start dates to make the following season “normal”.
It feels weird the league would care so much about player/fan safety this season and just go back on that next season.
From the linked article:
It is a bit vague, might be something they are hoping for later in the season, after the next wave, possible vaccine, etc.
Regardless, still sounds like a lot to figure out in a short amount of time. Even trying to mimic what MLB did is a bit more dangerous for an indoor sport.
There are so many people freaked out by COVID, I wonder if teams could fill their venues in places like NYC and CA. (I’m guessing yes.)
A vaccine. Ha. That’s as big a bunch of hooey as anything going on regarding COVID. Assuming you even believe a vaccine works on COVID, to begin with, that is.
As to your first paragraph, it raises an interesting question – if the pandemic continues to escalate, how many fans will attend an NBA game?
As to your second, LOL.
Well, consider me skeptical a vaccine is happening anytime soon. And that it will offer a solution ultimately.
I just think this is the beginning, not the path towards the end of this crisis.
Oh, that I don’t necessarily disagree with (the calendar part of it). But I trust that we’ll have one eventually.
Yeah the general thing I’ve heard on various pods is that the league hopes fans could be back by the end of the season, but isn’t going to wait for fans to be able to attend because there’s no way to know when that will be.
That makes sense. But I’d still agree that the logistics of this enterprise (playing a full/mostly full season schedule), and the safety of the players who are traveling between multiple bubbles in a country that has lost control of the virus completely – well, it’s decision making that you can just power through.
I’ve listened to a number of NBA podcasts and that seems to be the general vibe I get as well. It sure sounds like the plan would be to get fans back in the stands for the 21-22 season and that this season is basically a wash from the fans in the stands perspective and maybe they can figure something out for the playoffs or by the end of the season.
Same. And the more I think about it, there’s going to be the same amount of games scheduled, whether they start Dec 22 or Jan 18 (MLK day). The latter date just means more B2Bs, more 4 in 5 nights, etc. With a normal travel schedule, there’s bound to be a few postponed/rescheduled games.
For those that would have their cake, and Edith, too.
(edit – Posted in the wrong thread.)
So, what’s this article all about that I didn’t read yet?
I think you meant where Lebron would like to have his cake and eat it too.
I’d be fine with LeBron not playing for the first month of the season.
How would that look as far as his carrying the load for Kobe marketing line.
I am so over Lebron’s influence on the league.
Sidenote: TradeNBA.com has a couple new features for building your own mock drafts and big boards. They aren’t especially amazing or feature-rich, but they’re clean and easy.