NBA commissioner Adam Silver believes the league could be in for a more normal year next season. Silver expressed optimism over the 2021-22 NBA season Saturday, saying he expects it to begin on time and with "relatively full" arenas.
Silver made those comments while speaking at his annual All-Star news conference.
The 2019-20 NBA season was split into two parts as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. After the league suspended play in March, it returned in the Orlando bubble in July. The season ended in September, three months later than the season normally ends.
The NBA didn't want to turn around and immediately begin the 2020-21 season, so it delayed its start until December. The league will split the season into two halves. The first has already been completed. The second half will begin after the All-Star break. The NBA Finals are set to end in July. That would be roughly a month later than usual, but that won't stop the NBA from resuming regular-season play in October for the 2021-22 season.
NBA will not mandate players get COVID-19 vaccine
While multiple COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed across the United States, Silver said the NBA won't mandate players receive the vaccine.
Silver also added that player vaccination won't have an impact on fans being allowed to return to arenas.
A few NBA teams have already opened up their stadiums to fans, but are only allowing limited attendance at the start of the 2020-21 NBA season. That could change as more people in the U.S. receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
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