A clear difference exists now compared to just a couple of weeks ago in the NBA. Both commissioner Adam Silver and star players have indicated a desire to return. A plan that would include both regular season and playoffs is in the works. Namely, Chris Paul is the latest big-name player that has gone public about the desire to jumpstart the season. Silver had a weekend conference call with owners that indicated a return to play plan is being finalized. It follows that the resumption of NBA betting is not a question of if but of when.
Shortened Regular Season
Starting with the past weekend has Silver been “imploring” owners of teams out of the playoff race to consider taking the court. Regular season game schedules would be cut from 82 to 70. Many NBA officials still want some form of regular season. Because of this offshore bookmaker match ups would bring in additional revenue. Billions of television contract dollars are on the line. The more that the Association can offer content starved networks the better for all concerned. Nightly NBA games would be a godsend for partners such as Turner and ESPN.
Additionally, a practical consideration would be that some kind of regular season would help playoff teams tune-up. This would be far more appealing to fans and TV partners than practice or exhibition games. In turn, regular-season games would have playoff position implications. The roadblock is teams such as the Golden State Warriors being out of the running. Warriors coach Steve Kerr already stated his team is done playing. Now, that looks to be a premature observation on Kerr’s part.
Silver Talks Gold
Extending the hopes of NBA betting regular-season games is Silver himself. The NBA commissioner has told the entire league to take what he calls a “holistic approach.” Which is a fancy way of saying “Take one for the league.” Certainly, non-playoff teams would earn extra revenue by playing. They would also be able to use the proposed regular-season games to evaluate talent and experiment. Most important of all they would contribute to the Association’s much-needed comeback. This would not be forgotten by the NBA or its partners when favors are granted.
King James Calls Superstars
Specifically, another key player involved in the NBA’s return is LeBron James. Last week James took part in a conference call imitated by Chris Paul. Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, and Giannis Antetokounmpo were also involved. To be exact, the NBA’s biggest names discussed the Association’s return to action. In the first place, this was every bit as important as anything Commissioner Silver could have done. Moreover, it’s the most positive tell yet that the NBA is serious about taking the floor soon.
Momentum Builds as Owners and Executives Voice Hope for a Bubble
While the logistics and COVID-19 safety protocol are still being worked out momentum is building for a return. Accordingly, the most popular solution being discussed is a “bubble” community of personnel deemed essential. Under this plan, teams would be located in an area such as Las Vegas or Disney World. Perhaps both could be used in an East/West format.
In essence, there would be regular testing with daily life and games in a quarantined environment. Complicated negotiations as to who is essential and test implications must be worked out. Concurrently the scheduling format is a potential cause for contention.
Owing to the billions of dollars at stake and with owners and players wanting to return there is increased optimism. Of course, the devil will be in the details.