The NBA is officially going to Walt Disney World after the league’s players approved a 22-team restart plan on Friday.
On Thursday, the league laid out its plan for the resumption of action in a season suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, with all teams within six games of a playoff position invited to participate.
The players union responded Friday in a statement, “The Board of Player Representatives of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) has approved further negotiations with the NBA on a 22-team return to play scenario to restart the 2019-20 NBA season. Various details remain to be negotiated and the acceptance of the scenario would still require that all parties reach agreement on all issues relevant to resuming play.”
According to the NBA’s outlines, the 22 invited teams will each play eight regular-season games at the Walt Disney Resort near Orlando, Fla.
A play-in competition for the last postseason berth in each conference would be held if the ninth-place team winds up within four games of the eighth-place team. The ninth-place team would need to beat the eighth-place team twice in a row to advance, while the eighth-place team would need just one win.
After that, the standard playoff system would be held, with four rounds of best-of-seven series.
The plan is to have training open at the Disney Resort in mid-July, with games to start July 31. Game 7 of the NBA Finals, if necessary, would be Oct. 12.
Among the issues team owners and the union still need to work out is the calendar for the 2020-21 season. The league reportedly wants to start the next season on Dec. 1 after teams hold three-week training camps. However, The Athletic’s Shams Charania tweeted Friday that the Dec. 1 date that the NBPA told players that the Dec. 1 date is “unlikely” to be confirmed, with plans in place to negotiate a different timeframe.
—Field Level Media