The board is targeting a Dec. 22 start to what would be a season of 70 to 72 games, with the NBA Finals ending in June again as has been in the case for many years, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The person, who spoke to The Associated Press Friday on condition of anonymity because no plan has been finalized, said the possibility of fans being at games would hinge on how a particular market is faring against the coronavirus at that time.
There are other options, such as waiting until later in the season to begin play with the hope that more arenas would be able to have fans. But starting in December instead of mid-January or later could generate a difference of roughly $500 million in revenue, the person said.
Revenue projections for the league this season were missed by about $1.5 billion, the person said. The losses were the result of a combination of factors — the shutdown caused by the pandemic, the cancelation of 171 regular-season games, completing the season in a bubble at Walt Disney World without fans, the nearly $200 million price tag for operating that bubble and a yearlong rift with the Chinese government that saw NBA games not shown on state television there.
Alexia Grant, aka Chef Lex, was one of 10 chefs invited to cook for players inside the NBA bubble. From her kitchen at Disney World, she launched the pop-up restaurant Comfort Kitchen, specializing in Caribbean and Southern comfort food. Since, she’s cooked for players from every team in the bubble, including the Miami Heat, the LA Lakers, and the Denver Nuggets. But cooking under strict quarantine isn’t easy. She can’t leave the bubble to do her own shopping and has to rely on runners to deliver her food to the players in the inner bubble.