The 2020-21 NBA season wrapped up late because of previous delayed forced by COVID-19. The Finals didn’t end until mid-July, which is abnormally late for the ultimate series, but so it goes in a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. But with that behind us, the question now become when does the 2021-22 NBA season start?
When Does the NBA Season Start?
The 2021-22 NBA regular season will start on Tuesday, Oct. 19.
This tip-off date for the NBA season is much more in line with its traditional schedule, a return to some normalcy after the pandemic pushed the timeline of league events out of the ordinary. It does mean that the turnaround from the end of the NBA Finals to the start of the next season is shorter than usual by about six weeks or so.
Now we know when to expect the start of the NBA season, but what about training camp? The date set for that is Tuesday, Sept. 28.
That means teams that didn’t make the 2021 NBA Playoffs will have had almost five months off since their 2021 campaigns ended by the time training camp rolls around. Teams that were eliminated early in the postseason will have had about four months to prepare for the new year. Those that went deep into the playoffs could have only two to three months as a break.
Sorry, Milwaukee, it really goes that fast.
What Are the First Games of the Season?
The NBA has released its opening week matchups that will air on TNT and ESPN, as well as the contests slated for Christmas Day. This is the TV schedule for the 2021-22 NBA season’s first few days (all times Eastern):
Tuesday, Oct. 19
Brooklyn at Milwaukee (7:30 p.m., TNT)
Golden State at LA Lakers (10 p.m., TNT)
Wednesday, Oct. 20
Boston at New York (7:30 p.m., ESPN)
Denver at Phoenix (10 p.m., ESPN)
Thursday, Oct. 21
Dallas at Atlanta (7:30 p.m., TNT)
LA Clippers at Golden State (10 p.m., TNT)
Friday, Oct. 22
Brooklyn at Philadelphia (7:30 p.m., ESPN)
Phoenix at LA Lakers (10 p.m., ESPN)
Other Important 2021-22 NBA Season Dates
Regular Season Ends: April 10, 2022
Play-In Tournament: April 12-15, 2022
Playoffs Start: April 16, 2022
Finals Game 1: June 2, 2022
Finals Game 7 (if necessary): June 19, 2022
2022 NBA Draft: June 23, 2022