LeBron James may not get to relax on his throne as long as he would like.
The reigning NBA champion and Finals MVP responded with a message of disapproval after news emerged this week of the league and its players association tentatively approving a start date of Dec. 22 for the 2020-2021 season.
James took to Instagram on Friday to post a face-palm emoji with a graphic that showed the 71 days between the end and start of a new season, which would be the shortest offseason in the history of the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL. The previous record was 99 days by the NHL in 2013, according to Elias, after a lockout forced the calendar to be rearranged.
The 35-year-old James and the Lakers won the NBA championship on Oct. 11, which wrapped up their three-month stay in the bubble that became necessary because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The NBA had suspended its 2019-2020 season on March 11 before returning with games on July 30.
Thursday, the NBA and its players association tentatively agreed on starting its next season in late December, which would feature a 72-game schedule instead of the regular 82. There are still financial details and health and safety protocols to work out before the deal is finalized.
But it remains to be seen whether James would start the season on time in this scenario.
“I think most guys, if you say they’re starting in December, I think they’re like, ‘I’m not going to be there,’” Lakers teammate Danny Green recently said on The Ringer NBA Show podcast. “Because we have a lot of vets on our team. It’s not like we have young guys and rookies. We have three or four young guys and rookies if we’re fortunate to bring the same team back.
“Bron’s been in the Finals 10 years out of his 17 years, which is unbelievable mentally. It’s draining to do that. To have that quick a restart, I wouldn’t expect to see him there. I wouldn’t expect to see him probably the first month of the season. He’d probably work out with us but I don’t expect guys to want to be there or show up willingly.”
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