It’s now for real.
The NBA Board of Governors voted Thursday 29-1 to bring back their season with training camp beginning June 30 and the season re-opener July 31 with a 22-team format, the league announced.
“The Board’s approval of the restart format is a necessary step toward resuming the NBA season,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a press release. “While the COVID-19 pandemic presents formidable challenges, we are hopeful of finishing the season in a safe and responsible manner based on strict protocols now being finalized with public health officials and medical experts. We also recognize that as we prepare to resume play, our society is reeling from recent tragedies of racial violence and injustice, and we will continue to work closely with our teams and players to use our collective resources and influence to address these issues in very real and concrete ways.”
The players union is expected to rubber stamp the decision.
“‘I’m ready to go,” Dallas owner Mark Cuban told The Post. “We have more work to do because safety will always be our primary focus, but its going to be fun to have the guys back on the court.”
The Nets and the other 21 clubs will begin training camp for a week on June 30 and then continue it in Orlando after July 7. The additional six teams beyond the playoff entrants via the March 11 standings are Portland, New Orleans, Sacramento, San Antonio, Phoenix and Washington. That’s five teams from the West and one from the East — based on the formula of being within six games of a playoff spot.
After eight regular-season games, there will be a play-in event between the Nos. 8 and 9 seeds in each conference — but only if the ninth seed is within four games of the playoff spot.
The NBA Finals could conclude as late as Oct. 12. with training camp for next season not commencing until Nov. 10.
Teams will be secluded in a bubble atmosphere at Disney World and go through coronavirus testing.
The Knicks won’t be part of the Disney World fun, but the Nets will partake in the eight-game regular season that will be followed by a potential play-in series and then the playoffs.
The Athletic reported the season opener could be for 2020-21 could be as soon as Dec. 1 but nothing is set in stone.
The NBA was the first sports league in America to shut down on March 11 and now is ready to officially be the first up and running. There were doubters in March that the NBA would play again, with Jeff Van Gundy among those predicting the season was over.