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The NBA Is Coming Back—It’s Just Not Sure How Yet

Nearly three months after the NBA suspended its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it appears the league is one step closer to returning to play. It’s no longer a matter of if or when the NBA will be back. The answer to the former is a surefire yes; to the latter, a reported target date of July 31. Now all that is left—beyond the very important logistical feat of keeping everyone safe inside the “campus-like environment” at Disney World in Orlando—is figuring out the how. Related Will a New Playoff Format Alter the Fate of the NBA’s Title Race? Following a board of governors meeting Friday, the league is reportedly set to vote Thursday and decide what the format for a return to play will look like and how many teams it will include. As the safety of players and staff members is weighed along with the league’s other concerns (namely, revenue and competition format), numerous proposals have been reported, including a World Cup–style format, the elimination of conferences, and different variations of a postseason play-in tournament.

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