Silver discusses 2020-21 NBA season start date, testing fans


It sure sounds like the 2020-21 NBA season actually just will be the 2021 season.

"My best guess is that the season won't start until 2021," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Tuesday morning on CNN to Bob Costas. "We said a week or so ago that the earliest we would start is Christmas.

"But the more I'm learning, I continue to believe that we're gonna be better off getting into January."

Will the season be shortened? Will arenas be empty?

"The goal for us is to play a standard season -- 82 games and playoffs," Silver said. "Further, the goal would be to play games in home arenas in front of fans. But there still is a lot that we need to learn in terms of rapid testing for example. Would that be a means of getting fans into our buildings? Will there be other protections?

"Also, clearly learning a lot from other sports ... there is a lot of new information out there in the marketplace that we are looking to absorb."

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When Silver says "in front of fans," it's unclear if that means 100 percent capacity or partially filled. Perhaps this will vary on a market-by-market basis, and depend on rulings from local health authorities.

It's fair to assume that the Warriors could face more obstacles packing Chase Center in San Francisco, which is why the franchise has been working on safety protocols for months.

"We're putting every foot forward to make sure we can have fans and it can be safe," Golden State general manager Bob Myers said in mid-July. "We're probably in a great market with all the technology we have and all the medical affiliates in the city."

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Warriors owner Joe Lacob echoed that sentiment in mid-August.

"Our biggest challenge is going to be the virus and getting fans back in the stands," Lacob said. "That's what we are built to do -- have a great audience and entertain our fans, as well as win a championship. So we really want to do that.

"I've worked with the league extensively on the testing strategies with respect to what's going on in the bubble. And we're actually doing the same thing in terms of trying to lead the way (for) how we're going to maybe test fans as an example -- if need be -- when we resume play."

So if you want to attend a Dubs game at Chase Center next season, you definitely should expect to take a COVID-19 test before you're allowed inside.

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