NBA commissioner says 2021 pause for Olympics unlikely

MIAMI (AFP) – NBA commissioner Adam Silver said on Friday he thinks it’s unlikely the league will pause a delayed 2021 season to allow players to compete in a postponed Tokyo Olympics.

“We’ll consider it,” Silver said in a courtside interview with NBA TV before the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat clashed in game two of the NBA Finals in the league’s quarantine bubble in Orlando, Florida.

“I think it’s unlikely at the end of the day that if we start late that we would stop for the Olympics.”

The league’s 2020 season was upended by the coronavirus pandemic, shutting down in March and resuming in late July – more than a month after the NBA title would have normally been decided.

Silver has already said the 2020-21 campaign won’t start before Christmas, which means it will run through the scheduled July 23, 2021 start of the Tokyo Games – which were postponed because of the pandemic by a year.