Good news, sports fans — basketball may be back before the end of the year!
The National Basketball Players Association announced on Thursday that they had "tentatively approved a start date of December 22, 2020 for the 2020-2021 NBA season."
Although "additional details remain to be negotiated" for the proposed 72-game season — which is just slightly shorter than the typical 82 games — the NBPA added that they are "confident" about being able to reach an "agreement on these remaining issues."
Yet-to-be agreed upon issues include financial matters as well as health and safety measures, according to the Associated Press.
The announcement comes less than a month after the NBA completed its 2019-20 season, with the Los Angeles Lakers defeating the Miami Heat in the finals.
The league resumed play in July after going on hiatus in March due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Throughout the restarted season, all participating teams played and lived inside an NBA bubble, located in Orlando, Florida.
The proposed start date will mean a very short offseason for some players, notably the Lakers and the Heat, who played their last game on Oct. 11.
Teams will reportedly begin training camp on Dec. 1, according to CBS Sports. The schedule will also get the league back on track for a more typical schedule that is set to end before the Tokyo Olympics, which are currently scheduled to begin in July.
Although official plans have yet to be announced, last month Lakers guard Danny Green said that team superstar LeBron James might sit the beginning of the season out.
"'Bron’s been in the Finals 10 years out of his 17 years, which is unbelievable mentally," Green said on The Ringer NBA Show. "You know there’s training to do that. And to have that quick of a restart, I wouldn’t expect to see him there. I wouldn’t expect to see him probably for the first month of the season."
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