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

Sep 12, 2020 - Health

Fauci warns U.S. won't return to normal until "well into 2021"

Anthony Fauci testifying before the House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis in July. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/AFP via Getty Images

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told MSNBC on Friday that it's unlikely life in the U.S. will go back to normal by the end of 2020, saying pre-coronavirus conditions may not return until "well into 2021, maybe even towards the end of 2021."

Why it matters: Fauci's statements are at odd with recent comments from President Trump, who has repeatedly claimed without evidence that the country is ”rounding the turn” on the coronavirus pandemic.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 32,471,119 — Total deaths: 987,593 — Total recoveries: 22,374,557Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 7,032,524 — Total deaths: 203,657 — Total recoveries: 2,727,335 — Total tests: 99,483,712Map.
  3. States: "We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus.
  4. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer.
  5. Business: Coronavirus has made airports happier places The expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance looms.
  6. Education: Where bringing students back to school is most risky.
Mike Allen, author of AM
5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden pushes unity message in new TV wave

A fresh Joe Biden ad, "New Start," signals an effort by his campaign to make unity a central theme, underscoring a new passage in his stump speech that says he won't be a president just for Democrats but for all Americans.

What he's saying: The ad — which began Friday night, and is a follow-up to "Fresh Start" — draws from a Biden speech earlier in the week in Manitowoc, Wisconsin: