Milwaukee Bucks: Start date of 2020-21 season remains unclear

PORTLAND, OR - NOVEMBER 6: (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OR - NOVEMBER 6: (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Despite initial rumblings, the start of the 2020-21 NBA and Milwaukee Bucks season remains muddled as the league resets its calendar.

As we’ve seen over the last few days, there is more at stake than the NBA saving the 2019-20 season.

Thursday afternoon saw the NBA and the league’s Board of Governors finalize its plans to restart the 2019-20 season at Walt Disney World in Orlando as the coronavrius pandemic disrupted life as we knew it. But that wasn’t all that caught the attention of basketball fans starving for the NBA’s return.

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As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski had initially reported Thursday afternoon, the league had originally targeted December 1 as the start of the 2020-21 season, nearly six weeks after the current season would come to its end following this year’s NBA Finals.

That certainly caught the attention of the president of the National Basketball Players Assocaiation, Michele Roberts, who spoke of her surprise to see such a quick turnaround.

And as expected, the NBPA has told all players that that start date is unlikely to move forward and will be up for negotiating as Wojnarowski reported Friday afternoon:

"“As expected after the NBA plan’s approval, NBPA executive director Michele Roberts informed the union’s members that the starting dates for the 2020-21 season — along with a myriad of items — will be part of the negotiations with the NBA in coming weeks, sources told ESPN.”"

The NBA’s efforts to reportedly trying to keep their league calendar mostly intact for a summer offseason ahead of next year’s rescheduled Olympic games seems good on its face. However, with player safety on the minds of the league’s decision makers and NBA commissioner Adam Silver in the face of the ongoing pandemic, there seems to be a disconnect in what’s being lost in regard preserving the players’ collective health as far as workload goes.

The Milwaukee Bucks may end up as one of the teams most affected by any attempt to overload the NBA schedule for the next 12-14 months.

Take the Milwaukee Bucks, for example, who may very well reach the NBA Finals if they’re able to regain the dominant rhythm that they displayed for the majority of this season before the stoppage.

Going from a near four-month layoff into the second training camp, as the league has planned under this restart, to finishing out this season, having a month-long layoff before training camp, if they reach their ultimate goal, an 82-game season from December 1 to mid-July and then the Olympics next August. Simply put, that scenario has disaster written all over it.

With the extensive layoffs and sudden thrust into playing high-level action for nearly 12 of the 14 coming months the injury risk of all NBA players would be heightened. That’s not to mention the ongoing concerns that will exist with coronavirus, as well. And that’s especially true of teams that may go the distance to the NBA Finals as Milwaukee aspires to starting at the end of July.

As Wojnarowski noted, negotiating the start date of the 2020-21 season is one of several things that the league and the NBPA will have to discuss and weigh up multiple options. And it feels safe to assume that the league will prioritize keeping its famed Christmas Day slate on the table at all costs, given the significance of that day in the league calendar.

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Whatever the back and forth between those two parties will be over the coming weeks, the Bucks will obviously be affected by it. And in some ways, they will be among the most affected by how busy the next year and change could be in the basketball world.