I’m excited to hear there is a realistic possibility of the 2020-21 season starting as early as December 22. Sitting here in late October with no Kings games to talk about is weird. But of course, these are weird times.
As for the proposed season timeline by the owners, it doesn’t really surprise me. There is just too much money on the table to delay it any longer. Television revenues will take another hit if the season runs too long into the summer again, and they need their 72-game schedule to meet the contract mandates of the regional sports networks. We should expect more back-to-backs again and a more compact game lineup. I have also heard talk about more inter-conference games to avoid long cross-country travel.
Who would suffer? Owners would lose gate and concession revenue if they were forced to reduce or eliminate fans at the arenas. Players likely would complain about the lack of “necessary rest”, or the shortened season impacting their stats and incentive bonuses. These are pretty much all related to millionaires and billionaires losing out on some money, nothing to do with the fans of the game. Sure, it would be nice to go to a Kings game again, but let’s be realistic, that’s not happening soon regardless.
As for the Kings, the quick turnaround to the new season would likely impact a couple major decisions for the team. Continuity will be key to any team’s success next season, and making rushed decisions is not advisable.
I would see Buddy Hield staying with the team to begin the season. New general manager Monte McNair would likely want to see what he has before he goes out and makes major changes to the squad. I would also expect to see both Bogie and Belly back with the team as small markets like Sacramento can’t let assets just walk away for nothing. Maintain all three of these valuable assets and make smarter decisions at the trade deadline when you have more relevant data to work with. Remember, McNair is a data-driven guy, and needs his data to decide.
The only major change this season will likely be the addition of Alvin Gentry as associate head coach. He’ll be introducing some new offensive concepts, but the bulk of the squad has been together for a couple years now, so it’s not like they don’t know how to play together. I am curious to hear about Gentry’s and Hield’s relationship when they were together in New Orleans.
Just over 3 weeks until the NBA draft. Free agency about a week after that. And training camp a couple weeks later. Can’t wait. I just hope the Player’s Union doesn’t balk and push this thing back to February.