NBA Season May Resume in July, from Disney World

Tilman Fertitta isn't buying any asterisk talk for 2020 NBA champ AP

Tilman Fertitta isn't buying any asterisk talk for 2020 NBA champ AP

The tentative start date is July 31.

The league was the first to suspend its season on March 11 due to the pandemic. If the gap between the No. 8 and No. 9 seeds is less than four games, those teams will meet in a double-elimination play-in tournament.

Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando has been chosen as the venue for the games that will be played without spectators.

The NBA said it is developing a program with public health and infectious disease experts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among players, including testing and safety protocols.

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The NBA's returning in a big way. league officials are expected to approve a plan for a 22-team July comeback in Orlando, according to multiple reports. The league still has to finalize the plan with the players union, which will meet on Friday, according to the New York Times.

The start of the 2020-21 regular season is tentatively slated for December 1. The NHL, MLS and NWSL have previously announced their plans to return. The NBA has also set August 25 for the date of its draft lottery and October 15 for the draft, Wojnarowski reported. The World Cup format included a five-team group play stage as the first round of the playoffs with the top two teams in each group advancing to the semifinal.

Each of the 22 teams will play eight regular-season games for seeding purposes for the postseason.

Whether Major League Baseball, which ESPN also airs, will be able to begin its 2020 season is still up in the air. Although the National Basketball Association has often wondered about new playoff formats, such a sudden and drastic change may have compromised the legitimacy of the eventual champion's season, with skeptics saying that the team's title would require an asterisk. As a result, the league has been extremely cautious with its players. Lottery teams would be comprised of the eight clubs that do not participate in the restart and the six that go to Florida but do not qualify for the playoffs. The Knicks will miss the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season, the third-longest current drought in the league behind Sacramento and Phoenix - who still have chances of getting into the playoffs this season.

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