When does the NBA season start 2020-21? Opening Night schedule, first game for each team

After leaving the NBA’s “bubble” at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, teams likely anticipated a bit of a layoff between seasons. Early reports indicated the 2020-21 campaign wouldn’t begin before mid-January at the earliest and March at the latest.

So, uh, about those vacation plans …

The NBA and National Basketball Players Association bumped up the 2020-21 season start date to late December. It was largely a financial decision, as the NBA feared a January start could cost the league up to $1 billion in revenue losses. Things tend to move quickly when the word “billion” is being thrown around.

Not all of the details are ironed out just yet, but here’s what we know so far about the upcoming season.

When does the NBA season start for 2020-21?

Teams will be back in gymnasiums for training camps beginning Tuesday, Dec. 1, giving them three weeks to prepare before Opening Night.

Yep, it’s going to be a fast turnaround.

NBA schedule for 2020-21

Each team will play a 72-game schedule. Complete game and broadcast schedules for the first half of the season were revealed on Dec. 4. The league will announce the second half of the schedule separately in order to maintain flexibility amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s a tentative breakdown of 2020-21 NBA calendar:

Tuesday, Dec. 22 (Opening Night)

(All times Eastern)

Wednesday, Dec. 23

(All times Eastern)

Friday, Dec. 25 (Christmas Day)

(All times Eastern)

Will NBA fans be allowed to attend games?

The NBA is anticipating five to 10 teams will allow fans to be present at games to start the 2020-21 season, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. At this point, it is difficult to nail down which teams would feel comfortable letting fans walk into arenas because state guidelines may vary.

The league hasn’t provided an across-the-board answer, so expect teams to offer individual statements as the season approaches. Information on how each team will handle attendance can be found here.

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