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NBA coronavirus hiatus now longer than a full offseason

NBA coronavirus hiatus

ORLANDO, FL - JULY 16: An exterior shot of The Arena at ESPN Wide World of Sports with the “Whole New Game” signage as part of the NBA Restart 2020 on July 16, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Last NBA offseason ran 130 days.

The NBA’s coronavirus-forced hiatus has now gone 132 days.

And counting.

The league suspended its season two years ago in March. If all goes as planned, the shutdown will last exactly 20 weeks (140 days). That’s longer than any offseason since 2011 and longer than any non-lockout offseason since 1995.

Here’s the length of every offseason in NBA history (blue) measured against the scheduled length of this hiatus (orange):

pbt coronavirus shutdown length

This has already shot way past the longest-ever in-season stoppage, which was just seven days.

When games resume at Disney World on July 30, it will somewhat feel like a brand new season. Too much so? At least rosters remain mostly steady from when play left off. And, desperate for live sports, fans might watch even if the product feels foreign.

But this is all so unprecedented. Until seeing games, it’s difficult to predict how we’ll process them.

We’ll get a taste with scrimmages beginning today. However, like preseason games, those don’t end the stoppage. An offseason lasts from the end of the NBA Finals through the regular-season opener. This hiatus lasts from the last regular-season game through the first seeding game.

Rudy Gobert’s positive coronavirus test shook the NBA and the world. The league shut down, and much of society followed. Nothing has been normal since.

The NBA’s resumption – in a single location with just 22 teams and many more safety protocols – certainly won’t restore normalcy. But when Gobert goes to center court for the tipoff of Jazz-Pelicans next week, it will end a long chapter without NBA games.