Basketball fans may soon be able to root for their beloved teams again

Illustration by Roe | The Signal

After a three month hiatus, basketball is back. The NBA Board of Governors voted and approved a plan to play

There are a number of details in the agreement made between the NBA and the NBA Players Association. Below are just a few key points from that agreement.

First, the top 22 teams from the regular season will return to action at Walt Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, FL. 

Among those, 13 will come from the Western Conference headlined by the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies.

The Eastern Conference will be represented by the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Orlando Magic, and Washington Wizards.

There will be an eight-game playoff for the final eighth seed. It will include the Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards.

This play-in tournament is one of the more intriguing parts about the restart of the league.

If the eight and ninth seeds finish the regular season within four games of each other, the two will compete in a play-in series. In this case, the eighth seed would only need to win one game, but the ninth would need to win twice. 

The possible play-in tournament is not only good for the league but it is also good for the fans who have been itching to see some form of sports in action. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver got it right with this proposal enabling teams to compete for an opportunity to get into the playoffs.

The training camp is tentatively scheduled for July 9-29. The NBA plans to give the coaches and players adequate time to readjust and get back in shape before play begins. 

Once the season resumes on July 31, each team will play eight regular-season games. This allows teams to compete for seeding in the playoffs. Each team will play one back-to-back game. 

The current NBA schedule:

  • Aug. 18 – First round of playoffs
  • Sept. 1 – Second round of playoffs 
  • Sept. 15 – Start of conference finals
  • Sept. 30 – NBA Finals Game 1
  • Oct. 12 – NBA Finals Game 7 (if needed)

The NBA plans to have daily coronavirus testing for everyone within the bubble, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. The league wants to ensure the safety of its players and curb the spread of the coronavirus as much as possible.

A few important dates to look out for will be the Aug. 25’s NBA Draft Lottery, the NBA Draft on Oct. 15 and Free Agency, which will begin on Oct. 18.

For the eight teams who will not make the trip to Orlando, their focus turns to the draft lottery, NBA Draft, and NBA Free Agency. 

For the Atlanta Hawks, a team filled with so much promise and a young star in Trae Young, it hurts not being included in the 22 team selection. 

“I was frustrated,” Young said on a Zoom call Wednesday. “Obviously I wanted to play. I understand what the NBA did and respect their decision. But I am kind of upset because I want to play.”

Their team started to mesh well before the season was suspended in March. Now the team has to look forward to the offseason and continue to grow its young talent that is destined for greatness. 

The start of training camp next season is scheduled for Nov. 10, with opening night set for Dec. 1. 

Hawks fans can expect a new fire out of Young, and the winning and consistent success are coming.

“I worked too hard not to believe that [we will be successful]. So for me, I believed it. I believe in the work I’ve put in, and I feel the work I put in is going to translate to on the court,” Young said.  “I’m trying to… elevate my game so that we’re in a better position next year.”

With the NBA season slated to return in a month, fans are more excited than ever to see all their favorite players on the court again. The competition, trash-talking and highlights have hardcore fans all around the world counting down the days.