NBA commissioner Adam Silver revealed on Monday that the league had reviewed the previous analysis of the expansion, but the addition of new teams is still not “in the spotlight.”
The Charlotte Bobcats – now known as the Hornets – were the most recent franchise to join, bringing the total to 30 in 2004. Toronto and Vancouver were new in 1995 when the NBA moved to Canada, although the latter did move. in Memphis after the 2000-01 season.
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Speaking to the media on the eve of a new season, Silver confirmed that the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has prompted the NBA to “dust off” data on the impact of the expansion going forward.
“I think I’ve always said that’s sort of the overt fate of the league that you expand at some point,” Silver told reporters. “I would say that maybe this caused us to dust off some of the analyzes on the economic and competitive impacts of the expansion.
“We’ve spent a little more time on it than we were before the pandemic, but certainly not to the point where the expansion is in the limelight.”
Competitive balance remains essential for Silver, who praised those who have shown their enthusiasm to host a team.
“You know, we really appreciate the markets that have expressed an interest in having an NBA team,” Silver said.
“One of the issues for the league office, and it comes up all the time in terms of competitiveness, it’s no secret that we don’t have 30 competitive teams at some point right now when you come in. in the season, measured by the probability of being able to win a championship. “
Silver also raised the possibility of the NBA returning to a bubble for the playoffs next year. He ended the 2019-20 season in Orlando due to COVID-19.
“We hope that given the planned deployment of the vaccine that we move in the other direction, it becomes more and more likely that there will be a return to an advantage on the ground,” he said.
“It will come in May, June, July, which currently our season is scheduled to end in mid-July, that by then there will really be a significant opportunity to have fans in our building.”
The new season begins Tuesday. The Warriors will face the Nets in Brooklyn before the Lakers and Clippers meet in Los Angeles.