Anthony Davis: Many players left ‘surprised’ by Dec. 22 season start date
The NBA will have a remarkably quick turnaround from the conclusion of the pandemic-altered season just concluded last month and the start of the 2020-12 campaign in December.
Anthony Davis admitted this week that he and a number of other NBA players were taken aback when notified of the 2020-12 season start date.
“I was surprised. I think a lot of guys were surprised,” Davis relayed to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. “We feel like that’s kinda what the league already had in place. It was surprising to us because it’s something that was never talked about. Even Adam [Silver] came out and said it would be very unlikely to start on Christmas.”
After negotiations that included discussions about beginning next season possibly as late as February, the NBA and NBPA agreed earlier this month to tip-off a 72-game season next month.
NBPA STATEMENT ON THE 2020-2021 NBA SEASON START DATE AND SCHEDULE— NBPA (@TheNBPA) November 6, 2020
🔗: https://t.co/BmNtnYsm63 pic.twitter.com/AvCaVAOWK7
The sides came to terms on a Dec. 22 start date, with training camps set to open across the country on Dec. 1.
Davis’ Los Angeles Lakers squad concluded the 2019-20 season by securing the championship with a Game 6 win over the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals on Oct. 11 in the bubble. That means those two teams will have only 71 days of offseason recovery/preparation time before ramping things up for another grueling season.
It should not be at all surprising that many NBA players have bristled at the notion of such a quick turnaround. Interestingly, LeBron James made his thoughts on the topic abundantly clear shortly after the league’s announcement.
Bron’s reaction to the NBA having the shortest offseason— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 6, 2020
(via @KingJames) pic.twitter.com/4jDVizgGSH
It will be interesting to monitor how teams adapt to such a short offseason, including whether teams will exercise extreme caution with players early on in the season by resting them under the auspices of “load management.”
It’s certainly safe to assume the Lakers will give James plenty of nights off in December and into January should he demand it. Odds are he will, given his above less-than-enthusiastic reaction.