NBA: Players association approves Dec. 22 start for 2020-21 season

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(Reuters) - The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) said on Thursday it has tentatively approved Dec. 22 as the start date for the 2020-21 season with a reduced 72-game schedule.

The 2019-20 season was only completed in October after a four-month delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with teams competing in a bio-secure bubble at Walt Disney World in Orlando.

The start date announcement followed a formal vote of player representatives, NPBA said.

"Additional details remain to be negotiated and the NBPA is confident that the parties will reach agreement on these remaining issues relevant to the upcoming season," the NBPA said in a statement https://nbpa.com/news/nbpa-statement-on-the-2020-2021-nba-season-start-date-and-schedule on Thursday.

The NBA has pushed back the draft from Oct. 16 to Nov. 18, with training camps set to begin in early December.

ESPN had reported, citing unnamed sources, that finishing the 2020-21 season before next year's Tokyo Olympics in mid-July would be worth between $500 million and $1 billion in short and long-term revenues to the league and players.

The Los Angeles Lakers captured a record-tying 17th NBA Championship on Oct. 12 with a 106-93 victory over the Miami Heat that sealed the best-of-seven title series 4-2.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar/Peter Rutherford)