UPDATE 3:07 pm: As we suspected, this is not happening.
Here is the tweet from Michael Lee of the Washington Post to confirm what teams have been told:
League has informed teams that there won’t be any delays – training camps will open on Friday.
Nothing to see here, move along.
1:03 pm: Don’t bet on this happening, but it apparently is being discussed.
There are a number of teams — Boston and Miami among them — who have a lot of roster filling in to do before the season starts, which makes training camp hard. Especially since camps and free agency were both set to kick off Dec. 9.
So the league is considering pushing back the start of training camps through the weekend until Monday, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.
The league office was polling team executives over the past 48 hours about the possibility, sources said. Despite the discussions, no final decision has been made….
“Teams with just a handful of guys under contract have been complaining that it’s going to be too difficult to start on Friday,” one league executive said.
Don’t expect this to happen just because of the timing. Training camps were set to open Dec. 9, the first preseason games are Dec. 16 and games start Dec. 25. Push back the start and camps now would not open until Dec. 12, four days before the first preseason games.
It’s not going to be ideal for some teams, but if the league wants games on Christmas they can’t really roll things back at this point. Play is going to be sloppy enough at the start of this season without less practice time.
The NBA is set to release its official 2011-12 schedule later this evening, during a program which will be broadcast on NBA TV at 7 p. m. ET. But one team’s schedule has leaked in its entirety, and it shows that plenty of fans won’t be happy with the way things shake out.
The Phoenix Suns’ 2011-12 schedule was obtained by Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic, and has been posted on the paper’s website. We already knew going in that not every out-of-conference team would be seen in every NBA city, and the Suns are one team that certainly seemed to get the short end of that stick.
The NBA let us know ahead of time that as far as non-conference scheduling would go, home teams could expect to play three teams two times (one home, one away), play six teams one time at home, and play six teams one time on the road. So, there will be some teams in the West who don’t host the best teams featuring the biggest stars of the East, and vice versa. The Suns? They don’t host almost any of them.
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and the Miami Heat will not be coming to Phoenix, nor will the reigning MVP Derrick Rose be visiting with his Chicago Bulls. Dwight Howard (if indeed he remains in Orlando this season) won’t be coming to town either, and neither will the Boston Celtics.
Most importantly to Suns fans, perhaps, is the fact that Amar’e Stoudemire won’t be back for the second time as a member of the New York Knicks.
The Suns aren’t likely to be the only team affected by the schedule this way, and they won’t be the only team affected by the loss of ticket sales from the guaranteed sellouts that these star-laden teams would provide. They’re just the first example of how the shortened season is going to impact fans in most markets who will be denied the chance to see the NBA’s biggest stars play in person.
In every NBA season there are what are called “scheduled losses” where some team is going to lose a game thanks to the schedule maker. If you are on your third game in four days and draw a rested Oklahoma City, you are in trouble no matter who you are.
This year there are going to be a lot of scheduled losses. Details of the NBA schedule — set to be released Tuesday at 7 p.m. (Eastern) — are starting to leak out and my legs are getting tired just reading about it.
Like the Lakers opening the season with a back-to-back-to-back — at home to Chicago, at Sacramento then back to Los Angeles to face Utah, reports the Los Angeles Times. Pretty pumped if you’re the Lakers fan who spent crazy cash to get tickets for that Utah game so you can watch the Lakers slog around on tired legs, aren’t you?
Then there is this tweet from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.
One league official says there are seven NBA teams that have two stretches of 5 games in 6 nights this season. Good luck with that.
Who wants to see how the Boston Celtics’ old legs look on the fifth game in six nights? Who wants to pay to see that?
That is one area the league could see backlash — in its effort to get as many games as possible in (read: rake in more revenue) they will have games so compacts as to hurt the quality of play. They are selling a weakened product.
And there are going to be a lot more “scheduled losses” this season where we can expect teams to lose basked on the schedule and not talent.