Lakers veteran says he wouldn’t expect to see LeBron James for the first month as the NBA sprints toward a new season starting in December
- The NBA is reportedly pushing for next season to begin on December 22, a quicker turn-around than expected from the finish of the 2019-20 season.
- Los Angeles Lakers veteran Danny Green told The Ringer that he doesn't think Lakers players will want to show up for training camp with such a short offseason.
- Green said LeBron James might not show up for the first month, citing the wear-and-tear of James' ninth Finals appearance in 10 years.
- Green said the Lakers might be in the minority, as many teams have had enough time off to be ready for the next season.
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If the 2020-21 NBA season begins in December, it may be hard to get LeBron James back on the court.
After NBA Commissioner Adam Silver publicly mentioned a January start for next season, the league's board of governors has flipped on the issue. It is now reportedly targeting a December 22 start to next season. With the NBA draft being held on November 18, free agency, training camps, and preseason would need to be held over the course of five weeks to make the December 22 start.
To Lakers guard Danny Green, that is not enough of an offseason for the Lakers, who concluded the previous season on October 11.
"December 22 is not even on my mind," Green said on "The Ringer NBA Show" podcast. "I think most guys, if you say they're starting in December, I think they're like, 'I'm not going to be there.''
Green cited the Lakers roster's age and James' numerous NBA Finals appearances, suggesting James would simply skip the first month of the season.
"Bron's been to the Finals 10 years out of his 17 years, which is unbelievable mentally," Green said. "It's draining to do that. To have that quick of a restart, I wouldn't expect to see him there. I wouldn't expect to see him probably for the first month of the season. He'll probably do some working out with us, he'll probably do some playing, but I just don't expect guys to want to be there or show up willingly."
ESPN reported that some team owners want to keep the primetime slot of games on Christmas Day to "further realize the value of broadcast partnerships." NBA TV ratings were down significantly during the bubble, likely the result of several factors.
And while the NBA wants to avoid another bubble and understands there will be positive COVID-19 tests among players and staff members, some owners have given up the hope of getting fans back into arenas soon.
A December start date not only gets the NBA back on track to its standard schedule, but it would also wrap the season in time for the Tokyo Olympics if the games are still held in 2021.
Green said while the Lakers are not yet rested enough for a full season, he understands they may be in the minority.
"A lot of other stars haven't played in a long time; they've had enough break," Green said. "Some guys have been out the bubble for a long time. Some guys haven't played in a year. So majority of league can be like, we're okay with the restart … I think the majority is against us."
According to ESPN, October 30 looms as an important date — the NBA and players association agreed that day would be the deadline to modify the collective bargaining agreement for the 2020-21 season. It is also about eight weeks from Christmas — Commissioner Adam Silver said there would need to be at least eight weeks between an agreement and the start of the season.
Green said perhaps he and his Lakers teammates would feel differently about the start date with a few more weeks rest, but as of now, they're not ready.
"I'm really hoping we don't start that early in December."
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