NBA stars reportedly want Jan. 18 season start, union won't rush counterproposal
Juan Ocampo / National Basketball Association / Getty

A "substantial faction of players," including some NBA stars, is pushing back on the reportedly proposed Dec. 22 start date in favor of beginning the 2020-21 season on Jan. 18 - Martin Luther King Jr. Day - instead, sources tell Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes.

The players are also requesting that free agency begin Dec. 1, Haynes notes.

The NBA reportedly informed teams it was targeting Dec. 22 as a start date for a 72-game regular season during a recent call with the board of governors. Jan. 18 was reported as the league's previously preferred 2020-21 start date, but teams and players reportedly stood to make over $500 million more if play began in December.

NBPA executive director Michele Roberts told The Athletic's Shams Charania on Wednesday that "the overwhelming response from the players that I have received to this proposal has been negative."

Roberts added that the NBPA will not be rushed into a decision before the league's Friday deadline.

"The union and the players are analyzing all of the information and will not be rushed," Roberts said. "We have requested and are receiving data from the parties involved and will work on a counterproposal as expeditiously as possible. I have absolutely no reason to believe that we will have a decision by Friday. I cannot and will not view Friday as a drop-dead date."

The league considers the January start "less palatable," as it would push the 2020-21 campaign's back end into September, when the NBA would be fighting for attention against the Summer Olympics and the start of the NFL and college football seasons, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The pre-Christmas tipoff may prove to be too quick of a turnaround for some players, including those on the Los Angeles Lakers, who would get just over two months of rest following their NBA Finals victory over the Miami Heat.

Lakers shooting guard Danny Green said this week that he would expect 35-year-old star LeBron James to take the first month of the campaign off following a truncated offseason.

"The players are now being asked to re-pack their bags and head back to camp in a little over a month," Roberts added. "The prospective loss of revenue largely forms the basis of this proposal."

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NBA stars reportedly want Jan. 18 season start, union won't rush counterproposal
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