When it comes to massive sports in the USA, basketball and the NBA stand tall. It is arguably the most popular of the so-called ‘Big 4’, with almost 30 million people following the NBA’s official Twitter account! As befits such a top sporting league, the NBA always generates lots of headlines to hook fans with. Whether it is Pau Gasol’s recent NBA comments or the exploits of current greats such as LeBron James, the NBA never fails to create real drama.
One recent piece of news that all fans took note of was the new season starting on December 22, 2020. Fans worldwide got an early Christmas gift and are eager to get the action underway again and see their favorite team out on the court. This is especially true if you enjoy betting on NBA games – make sure to find out the US states that allow sports betting and a reliable online sportsbook first.
But what benefits does a December 2020 start bring to teams?
Allows for an almost regular season
After the last season was interrupted by COVID-19, most basketball fans are desperate to return to some kind of normalcy. This is also true for NBA teams that simply want to get things back to how they used to be. Players love routine, and they will be keen to avoid any disruption again in 2020/21. While a December start will not totally achieve this, it goes a long way towards it. Starting then does not only allow 72 regular games to be played, but it is also hoped that it will be in the usual format, not with the requirement for bubbles or neutral venues.
Gets teams and players active again
As well as taking steps towards the format and routine NBA teams love, a December start helps keep players active and not get too rusty from long layoffs. This is especially true for the so-called ‘Delete Eight’ sides, which have not been in action since March 11! Even teams that have played more recently in the play-offs have mostly been inactive since September 2020. This means most teams will benefit from a December start, so their guys can get back out on court sooner rather than later.
Extra revenue for teams to enjoy
One of the headline figures around the NBA possibly restarting in December 2020 is the extra $500 million it will bring into the game. A financial boost like this would also benefit NBA teams. For starters, it will keep the NBA solvent and allow it to carry on in the future so that teams can compete in it. It also means there is more cash to split between teams in the NBA.
A December start will also allow for plenty of games to take place. If fans are allowed back in, this will lead to more revenue for teams in 20/21 from ticket sales and game merchandise. Even if fans are not back, it will mean more games are shown on TV, and NBA teams benefit from the extra revenue this brings.
Avoids competing with other big sporting occasions
NBA is a massive sporting league, but it is not the only rodeo in town during 2020/21. Once you get further into 2021, there are events such as the NFL Superbowl or the Summer Olympics in Tokyo to compete with. Teams and players will not want to risk going up against such massive occasions and losing media or fan attention to them.
A December start prevents this by allowing NBA teams to avoid such clashes and retain their audience. This will greatly benefit teams and players who need the fans to make the game worth playing. Of course, finishing in time for the Olympics also allows teams to release players to compete in it. This is something most will want, as having players in an Olympic team reflects well on their club and image.