Updated Jun 4, 2020 - Sports

The NBA's 22-team restart plan

Data: NBA; Table: Axios Visuals
Data: NBA; Table: Axios Visuals

An NBA plan to send 22 teams to Disney World — the top 13 from the West and the top nine from the East — for an eight-game regular season beginning July 31, followed by a postseason, has been approved by the league's board of governors, the NBA announced Thursday.

  • Traditional playoffs: Top eight from each conference, four rounds, etc.
  • Play-in tournament: If the No. 9 seed is within four games of the No. 8 spot, a play-in tournament will be held between the two teams.

What they're saying: A 22-team format that includes regular-season games is "worth several hundred million dollars more in revenue than the 16-team straight-to-playoffs plan," league sources told ESPN.

"While the COVID-19 pandemic presents a formidable challenge, we are hopeful of finishing the season in a safe and responsible manner based on strict protocols now being finalized with public health officials and medical experts. We also recognize that as we prepare to resume play, our society is reeling from recent tragedies of racial violence and injustice, and we will continue to work closely with our teams and players to use our collective resources and influence to address these issues in very real and concrete ways."
— NBA commissioner Adam Silver on the approval of the 22-team format

What's next: The plan now needs a green light from the players' association.

Go deeper: How Disney World could host the NBA

Go deeper