Mark Cuban believes the NBA can still salvage its 2019-20 season, despite it being suspended for two months and counting amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Dallas Mavericks owner pointed to Dec. 25 as the start date for next season and then said you just have to work backward for a potential timeline to resume this season. Most teams, Cuban said, would not be playing an extended schedule as there’s a limited number of teams that would advance through the playoffs.
That, he said, would give the league more leeway as to a hard deadline to resume this season.
“How much of an off-season do we need for the draft, workouts and guys to rest?” Cuban said during an interview on ESPN 103.3 FM on Monday. “Worst-case —we kind of squished the schedule and started late July, early August. That’s just me speculating. Go play a few warm-up games to finish out the season and finalize playoff positioning, then play the playoffs.”
Cuban said he believes the NBA must resume with regular-season games rather than going straight into a post-season format. Players will push their bodies in the playoffs, Cuban said, and regular-season games will be needed for guys to try to get back into game shape.
As far as playing at one location, Cuban didn’t have a strong preference whether it’s in Las Vegas or Orlando. Both are suitable destinations with the necessary hotel space and gyms.
Simply put, Cuban just wants the sport to return in some fashion. He believes the level of play will be just as good, if not better, than what NBA fans saw coming out of the 2011 lockout.
“Anything we show is going to be better than what we have right now,” Cuban said. “It’ll be good enough, right? We just want our sports. We just want to root for the Mavs, the Cowboys, the Stars, the Rangers, etc. If it’s not perfect, I don’t think anybody is going to mind.”
Cuban went on to say that he’d love to see the NBA adopt a Christmas Day start date going forward, too. That’s been something he’s pushed for years.
The NBA started the 2011-12 season on Christmas following the lockout, but has resisted doing so permanently. Cuban has been told the league doesn’t want to push too many games into the summer months because TV viewership drops during that time.
But the TV market has changed dramatically in recent years with people “cutting the cord” and the increase of streaming services.
“There are so many different elements when it comes to presenting our game that I think it would work,” Cuban said. “I’m all for it.”
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