Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Disney World bubble kept the NBA safe from COVID-19 this summer. Now comes an even greater challenge: staging a 72-game season in the real world.

Why it matters: In the bubble, the NBA made and enforced the rules, set up a complex testing program and operated three arenas. In the real world, teams will be responsible for doing everything themselves.

  • While the NBA can lean on its bubble experience to a certain degree, it has never traveled during the pandemic like MLB and the NFL have.
  • The best the league can do is prepare for all contingencies, as there will almost certainly be bumps in the road along the way.

What they're saying: "I think we are prepared for isolated cases. In fact, based on what we've seen in the preseason [and] watching other leagues operating outside a bubble, unfortunately, it seems somewhat inevitable," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Monday.

Details:

  • 10-day quarantine: If a player tests positive, he must remain in isolation for at least 10 days or pass COVID-19 tests on two consecutive days before returning.
  • Travel rules: Teams can use only pre-approved restaurants and private dining spaces; players are banned from visiting bars, nightclubs and public gyms.
  • Hotel rules: Players are limited to two guests in their rooms and both must be family members or close friends.
  • Expanded rosters: In anticipation of positive tests, the NBA has expanded active game rosters from 13 to 15 players. Plus, two-way players can be active for up to 50 games.

Key dates:

  • Dec. 22-March 4: First half of regular season (best games)
  • March 5-10: All-Star break
  • March 11-May 16: Second half of regular season (schedule TBD)
  • May 18-21: Play-in tournament
  • May 22-July 22: Playoffs

For the record: 24 of the NBA's 30 teams will begin the season without fans, while the following six teams will allow reduced crowds:

  • Cavaliers: 300 fans (1.5% capacity)
  • Jazz: 1,500 (8.2%)
  • Magic: 4,000 (21.2%)
  • Pelicans: 750 (4%)
  • Raptors (in Tampa): 3,800 (18.5%)
  • Rockets: 4,500 (25%)

Worth noting: The Spurs plan to allow a limited number of fans starting on Jan. 1, and the Hawks plan to allow 1,700 fans (10%) starting on Jan. 18.

Looking ahead: NIAID director Anthony Fauci has predicted that most Americans will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine by late spring or early summer, and that "it's possible" we could see full stadiums again in 2021.

  • Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told SiriusXM NBA Radio that he thinks "things are going to get really fun" in NBA arenas in the season's second half.
  • "We won't be able to eliminate cases and outbreaks, but if we can minimize them, then hopefully it can be as close to a normal season as possible," Cuban told NYT.

Go deeper: Season preview (NBA)

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Jan 28, 2021 - Sports

The NBA battle for the "second screen" is almost as important as the game itself

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tonight's NBA doubleheader will be broadcast on TNT, which means the network will almost certainly draw more viewers than its competitors throughout the evening.

Yes, but: While the battle for the "first screen" (broadcast) has already been won, the battle for the "second screen" (social media) will happen in real-time.

Republicans threaten to shut down government over vaccine mandates

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) in the Capitol in November 2020. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Conservative Republicans in the House and Senate are planning to force a government shutdown Friday to deny funding needed to enforce the Biden administration's vaccine mandates on the private sector, according to Politico.

Why it matters: Congress has until the end of the week to pass a stopgap measure to extend funding into 2022, though objection from a small group of Republicans could shut down the government.

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.