The American Basketball Association and Nassau Pride announced the start of the 2020-21 season will be delayed until Jan. 2 instead of its original opening date of Nov. 7 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic forced the ABA to suspend operations on March 12, prior to the start of the postseason playoffs. The 13th-ranked Nassau Pride was looking to make a deep playoff push.
“Most sports leagues in the country, including the NBA, have begun playing games without fans present,” said Darrin Eakins, team owner and president of basketball operations for the Pride. “The idea behind delaying the start of next season is to allow fans to be able to be present for as much of the season as possible.”
“There are more than 487,000 COVID-19 confirmed cases in Florida and combined 25,677 confirmed cases in Nassau, Duval and Clay counties,” said Dr. Jeremy Coleman, Pride team owner and president of business operations. “Like all other sports leagues, this is not something we take likely.
“It is something we are deeply concerned about. We monitor the activity of the virus daily and remain diligent in following all health guidelines. We felt that starting the season in November was premature based on the current surge and conditions.”
The ABA plans to shorten the season and extend regular season play through mid-March. The league also plans to shorten the play-in rounds, and hold the Final Eight playoff games in Binghamton, N.Y., in mid-April. Full details of the restructured season will be announced in the upcoming months as it continues to monitor the pandemic.
The Nassau Pride completes in the Southeast Division, which includes the Jacksonville Giants, the Mobile Jesters, the Alabama War Dawgs, the Pensacola Lighting and the Atlanta Storm.
For information, visit www.nassaupride.com.