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NBA Prefers In-Person, Local Games for 2020-21 Instead of Bubble

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Shams Charania of The Athletic reports the league’s initial desires for resuming play next year.

NBA: Houston Rockets at Portland Trail Blazers Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA has informed its franchises that the league prefers local, in-market competition with fans present and reduced travel for the 2020-21 season. Shams Charania of The Athletic tweeted the news, indicating that the Orlando “bubble” concept under which the 2019-20 season was concluded is not the first choice for format next year.

COVID-19 concerns forced the league into hiatus between March and July of 2020, after which the regular season concluded with an eight-game, 22-team schedule. All contests were held on the Disney campus in Orlando, Florida, where the 2020 NBA Playoffs are still continuing.

Charania indicated that “an amount” of fans in attendance would be the league’s preference. Presumably that amount would be determined by COVID-19 safety concerns.