America needs the NBA right now. The sport plays a massive cultural role in American life and at a time of national chaos, basketball can only be a force of good. The NBA had its season disrupted by the coronavirus but we're now learning the specific details how the sport will resume.
With travel not an option and fans unable to attend games, Orlando had been chosen a neutral venue for the remainder of the season to be played out.
Commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA owners had been discussing a roadmap for a return to play that featured many different options, including a World Cup-style approach with round robin play.
The NBA will however consider take a more conventional - but still fascinating - approach to resumption.
According to NBA sage Woj, the league will bring 22 teams to Orlando - the 16 teams who were already set to qualify for the playoffs, and six other playoff contenders.
🔺 The NBA's inviting 22 teams to Orlando
🔺 13 Western Conference
🔺 9 Eastern Conference
🔺 Eight regular season games per team
🔺 Play-in for the 8th seeds
🔺 July 31-October 12
🔺 Vote being held tomorrow to ratify
"The NBA's back." pic.twitter.com/6TWFwkfJYj
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 3, 2020
Each of the 22 teams will be play 8 games in Orlando. These games will function as a way to create the seeding for the playoffs, with the top 16 teams reaching the playoffs. If there is a less than a four game differential between the eight and nine seeds in either conference, there will be a best of three mini-playoff for the 8th seed.
The plan is for season to resume on July 31. The season will be decided by October 12, at the latest. The plan will be ratified on a conference call tomorrow amongst league owners.
Anticipation for the NBA has never been higher on the back of 'The Last Dance' documentary. We now know how long we'll have to wait for basketball to return.
To quote Woj, the NBA is back.