The 2019–20 NBA season was the 74th season of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The regular season began on October 22, 2019, and originally was supposed to end on April 15, 2020. The 2020 NBA All-Star Game was played on February 16, at the United Center in Chicago, and was won by Team LeBron, 157–155. The playoffs were originally scheduled to begin on April 18, and end with the NBA Finals in June.

2019–20 NBA season
LeagueNational Basketball Association
SportBasketball
Duration
  • October 22, 2019 – March 11, 2020
    (regular season before suspension)
  • July 30 – August 14, 2020
    (completion of regular season with "seeding" games)
  • August 15, 2020
    (play-in game)
  • August 17 – September 27, 2020
    (playoffs)
  • September 30 – October 11, 2020
    (finals)
Number of games
  • 63–67 games per team before regular season suspension
    (total for 8 teams not in NBA Bubble)
  • 8 games per team after regular season suspension
    (71–75 total for 22 teams in NBA Bubble)
Number of teams30
TV partner(s)ABC, TNT, ESPN, NBA TV
Draft
Top draft pickZion Williamson
Picked byNew Orleans Pelicans
Regular season
Top seedMilwaukee Bucks
Season MVPGiannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee)
Top scorerJames Harden (Houston)
Playoffs
Eastern championsMiami Heat
  Eastern runners-upBoston Celtics
Western championsLos Angeles Lakers
  Western runners-upDenver Nuggets
Finals
ChampionsLos Angeles Lakers
  Runners-upMiami Heat
Finals MVPLeBron James (L.A. Lakers)
NBA seasons

The season was suspended on March 11 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.[1] At the time of the suspension, teams had played between 63 and 67 games.

On June 4, the NBA Board of Governors approved a plan to restart the season on July 30, and the National Basketball Players Association approved this plan the next day.[2][3] Under the plan, 22 teams played eight additional regular season games to determine playoff seeding, and 16 teams entered a conventional postseason tournament.[2] All of these games took place in the NBA Bubble, an isolation zone specifically created for NBA operations at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World in Bay Lake, Florida.

On August 26, the season was suspended for a second time by a wildcat strike, to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake and police brutality, during the playoffs.[4][5] Play resumed three days later on August 29. The Finals ended on October 11, 2020, 355 days after the October 22, 2019, regular season opening day, and 377 days after the first pre-season games on September 30, 2019. This was the longest season in NBA history.[6]

Transactions edit

Retirement edit

  • On March 1, 2019, Channing Frye announced his retirement from the NBA. Frye played 13 seasons in the NBA, winning one championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.[7]
  • On April 9, 2019, Dirk Nowitzki announced his retirement from the NBA. Nowitzki played all his 21 seasons with the Dallas Mavericks franchise, winning one championship and Finals MVP with the Mavericks in 2011, and also led them to a Finals appearance in 2006.[8]
  • On June 10, 2019, Tony Parker announced his retirement from the NBA. He played 18 seasons in the NBA and was a four-time NBA champion and Finals MVP in 2007 with the San Antonio Spurs.[9]
  • On June 28, 2019, Darren Collison announced his retirement from the NBA. He played for five franchises during his 10-year NBA career.[10]
  • On August 29, 2019, Zaza Pachulia announced his retirement from the NBA. He played for six franchises during his 16-year career. He won two championships with the Golden State Warriors.[11]
  • On September 13, 2019, Shaun Livingston announced his retirement from the NBA. He played for ten franchises during his 15-year NBA career. He won three championships with the Golden State Warriors.[12]
  • On October 17, 2019, Luol Deng signed a ceremonial one-day contract with the Chicago Bulls and officially retired as a Bull after playing 15 seasons. He was a two-time All-Star with the Bulls.[13]
  • On November 4, 2019, José Calderón announced his retirement from the NBA. He played for seven franchises during his 14-year NBA career.[14]
  • On December 28, 2019, Zach Randolph announced his retirement from the NBA, Randolph played for five franchises during his 17-year NBA career. He was a two-time All-Star with the Memphis Grizzlies.[15]
  • On February 16, 2020, Marcin Gortat announced his retirement from the NBA. He played for four franchises during his 12-year NBA career.[16]
  • On April 14, 2020, Trevor Booker announced his retirement from the NBA. He played for five franchises during his eight-year NBA career.[17]
  • On June 25, 2020, Vince Carter announced his retirement from the NBA. Carter played for eight franchises during a record 22-year career in the NBA; he is the only player to play in four different decades and was the last active player to have been drafted and played in the 1990s.[18]

Free agency edit

Free agency negotiations began on June 30, 2019, at 6 p.m. ET, unlike July 1 from previous seasons.[19] Players officially signed after the July moratorium on July 6 at 12 p.m. ET.[20]

Coaching changes edit

Coaching changes
Team 2018–19 season 2019–20 season
Off–season
Cleveland Cavaliers Larry Drew John Beilein
Los Angeles Lakers Luke Walton Frank Vogel
Memphis Grizzlies J. B. Bickerstaff Taylor Jenkins
Phoenix Suns Igor Kokoškov Monty Williams
Sacramento Kings Dave Joerger Luke Walton
In-season
Team Outgoing coach Incoming coach
Cleveland Cavaliers John Beilein J. B. Bickerstaff
New York Knicks David Fizdale Mike Miller
Brooklyn Nets Kenny Atkinson Jacque Vaughn

Off-season edit

In-season edit

Preseason edit

The preseason began on September 30 and ended on October 18.[40]

International games edit

The Indiana Pacers and the Sacramento Kings played two preseason games at the NSCI Dome in Mumbai, India on October 4 and 5, 2019.[41][42][43]

The Toronto Raptors and the Houston Rockets played two preseason games at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama City, Japan on October 8 and 10, 2019.[44][45]

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets played two preseason games in China, in Shanghai on October 10 and in Shenzhen on October 12.[46][47][48]

The Los Angeles Clippers and the Dallas Mavericks played one preseason game in Canada, at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on October 17.[49][50]

Regular season edit

The 2019–20 schedule was released on August 12, 2019,[51][52] and the regular season began on October 22, 2019.

On March 11, 2020, the season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The reformatted regular season, with 8 more games scheduled for 22 qualified teams going to the NBA Bubble in Orlando, was released on June 26. The regular season resumed play within the bubble on July 30.

Eastern Conference
Atlantic DivisionWLPCTGBHomeRoadDivGP
yToronto Raptors5319.73626‍–‍1027‍–‍99–572
xBoston Celtics4824.6675.026‍–‍1022‍–‍149–672
xPhiladelphia 76ers4330.58910.531‍–‍412‍–‍2611–573
xBrooklyn Nets3537.48618.020‍–‍1615‍–‍216–1072
New York Knicks2145.31829.011‍–‍2210‍–‍232–1166
Central DivisionWLPCTGBHomeRoadDivGP
zMilwaukee Bucks5617.76730‍–‍526‍–‍1213–173
xIndiana Pacers4528.61611.025‍–‍1120‍–‍178–773
Chicago Bulls2243.33830.014‍–‍208‍–‍237–965
Detroit Pistons2046.30332.511‍–‍229‍–‍245–1066
Cleveland Cavaliers1946.29233.011‍–‍258‍–‍214–1065
Southeast DivisionWLPCTGBHomeRoadDivGP
yMiami Heat4429.60329‍–‍715‍–‍2210–473
xOrlando Magic3340.45211.018‍–‍1715‍–‍239–573
Washington Wizards2547.34718.516‍–‍209‍–‍275–972
Charlotte Hornets2342.35417.010‍–‍2113‍–‍212–765
Atlanta Hawks2047.29921.014‍–‍206‍–‍276–767
Western Conference
Northwest DivisionWLPCTGBHomeRoadDivGP
yDenver Nuggets4627.63026‍–‍1120‍–‍1612–273
xOklahoma City Thunder4428.6111.523‍–‍1421‍–‍148–572
xUtah Jazz4428.6111.523‍–‍1221‍–‍165–772
xPortland Trail Blazers3539.47311.521‍–‍1514‍–‍245–874
Minnesota Timberwolves1945.29722.58‍–‍2411‍–‍212–1064
Pacific DivisionWLPCTGBHomeRoadDivGP
cLos Angeles Lakers5219.73225‍–‍1027‍–‍910–371
xLos Angeles Clippers4923.6813.527‍–‍922‍–‍148–672
Phoenix Suns3439.46619.017‍–‍2217‍–‍176–973
Sacramento Kings3141.43121.516‍–‍1915‍–‍228–572
Golden State Warriors1550.23134.08‍–‍267‍–‍242–1165
Southwest DivisionWLPCTGBHomeRoadDivGP
yHouston Rockets4428.61124‍–‍1220‍–‍168–572
xDallas Mavericks4332.5732.520‍–‍1823‍–‍1410–475
piMemphis Grizzlies3439.46610.520‍–‍1714‍–‍224–973
San Antonio Spurs3239.45111.519‍–‍1513‍–‍247–671
New Orleans Pelicans3042.41714.015‍–‍2115‍–‍214–972

By conference edit

Notes

  • z – Clinched home court advantage for the entire playoffs/clinched best record
  • c – Clinched home court advantage for the conference playoffs/clinched conference
  • y – Clinched division title
  • x – Clinched playoff spot
  • * – Division winner
  • pi - Clinched play-in spot

International games edit

The Charlotte Hornets and the Milwaukee Bucks played at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris, France on January 24, 2020, marking the first NBA regular season game in France.[53][54]

On June 7, 2019, the NBA announced that the Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Phoenix Suns, and San Antonio Spurs would play at Mexico City Arena in Mexico City, marking the first time that four NBA teams would play in Mexico City in one regular season. The Mavericks and Pistons played on December 12, 2019, and the Spurs and Suns played on December 14, 2019.[55][56][57]

Play-in game edit

A play-in game took place in the Western Conference, as the ninth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies finished within four games of the eighth-seeded Portland Trail Blazers. The eighth seed started with a 1–0 lead and needed just one win to advance, while the ninth seed needed to win twice to clinch the final playoff spot. Portland won the play-in game 126–122 to enter the playoffs as the eighth seed.

Playoffs edit

The 2020 NBA playoffs began on August 17 and ended with the NBA Finals, which began on September 30 and ended on October 11.

Bracket edit

First round Conference semifinals Conference finals NBA Finals
            
E1 Milwaukee* 4
E8 Orlando 1
E1 Milwaukee* 1
E5 Miami* 4
E4 Indiana 0
E5 Miami* 4
E5 Miami* 4
Eastern Conference
E3 Boston 2
E3 Boston 4
E6 Philadelphia 0
E3 Boston 4
E2 Toronto* 3
E2 Toronto* 4
E7 Brooklyn 0
E5 Miami* 2
W1 LA Lakers* 4
W1 LA Lakers* 4
W8 Portland 1
W1 LA Lakers* 4
W4 Houston* 1
W4 Houston* 4
W5 Oklahoma City 3
W1 LA Lakers* 4
Western Conference
W3 Denver* 1
W3 Denver* 4
W6 Utah 3
W3 Denver* 4
W2 LA Clippers 3
W2 LA Clippers 4
W7 Dallas 2
  • * Division winner
  • Bold – series winner
  • Italic – team with home-court advantage

Death of Kobe Bryant edit

On January 26, 2020, recently retired Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were tragically killed when the Sikorsky S-76B helicopter that they were on board crashed into a hillside in the city of Calabasas, California, around 30 mi (48 km) northwest of Downtown Los Angeles, while en route from John Wayne Airport to Camarillo Airport.[58][59] The accident left behind no survivors and alongside the Bryants were seven others: baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri, their 14-year-old daughter Alyssa, Sarah Chester, her 13-year-old daughter Payton, basketball coach Christina Mauser, and the pilot, Ara Zobayan.[59] All on board were killed on impact and on January 28, Bryant's identity was officially confirmed using fingerprints.[60] The following day, the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner stated that the official cause of death for him and the eight others on the helicopter was blunt force trauma.[61] A year later on February 9, 2021, the cause of the crash was officially determined to be Zobayan experiencing spatial disorientation due to heavy fog in the Los Angeles area that morning.[62][63]

There were eight NBA games that were scheduled to be played on the day of the accident, the first of which being between the Houston Rockets and Denver Nuggets, as Pepsi Center (now Ball Arena) was the first NBA arena to acknowledge Bryant's death with the Nuggets holding a brief tribute prior to tip-off, concluding the memorial with the message "Rest in Peace, Mamba". Due to that game tipping off just minutes after the news was revealed for the first time, that game went on as scheduled as Denver defeated Houston, 117–110.[64] There were reportedly conversations held among league officials on whether or not to cancel any of the other games that day, however every game ultimately went on as planned as many felt that Bryant himself would have wanted the games to go on. Of the remaining seven games played that day, beginning with the Toronto Raptors at San Antonio Spurs game, every matchup featured each side intentionally taking either an 8-second violation or a 24-second shot clock violation on their very first possession to start the game, serving as a homage to Bryant's number 8 jersey, which he wore from 1996-2006, and his number 24 jersey, which he donned from 2006-2016. These violation tributes were initially proposed by Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich and the rest of the league subsequently followed suit throughout the rest of the Sunday.[65] Notably, Kyrie Irving, who at the time was a member of the Brooklyn Nets, excused himself and left Madison Square Garden prior to tip-off against the New York Knicks, upon learning of Bryant’s death. Irving, who considered Bryant to be a mentor, often trained with Kobe and was and continues to be very close with the Bryant family.[66]

The previous evening on January 25, LeBron James passed Bryant for third place on the NBA's all-time scoring list during a road loss to the Philadelphia 76ers in Bryant's hometown. James would eventually surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to stand alone as the NBA's all time leading scorer three years later on February 7, 2023. The Los Angeles Lakers learned of Bryant's death while flying back to Los Angeles from Philadelphia the following day, leaving everyone on board the flight in absolute shock and it was not long until their January 28 meeting with the crosstown rival Los Angeles Clippers was postponed.[67] The Lakers did not play a game in the wake of Bryant's death until January 31 when they hosted the Portland Trail Blazers on ESPN.[68] Prior to the commencement of the game, the Lakers conducted a 27-minute long, heavily detailed tribute to Bryant, his daughter and the seven other victims. This tribute began with Usher performing “Amazing Grace” and was capped off by a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by Boyz II Men before being concluded with a speech from James, who initially had written a monologue, but quickly tossed his index card onto the hardwood after saying “Laker Nation man, I would be selling y’all short if I read off this shit, so I’m going to go straight from the heart”, as he proceeded to address a sorrowful Staples Center crowd with an emotional, improvised oration, ending his speech with “…so in the words of Kobe Bryant: ‘Mamba out’, but in the words of us: ‘not forgotten’, live on brother”.[69] Portland won 127–119, in what turned out to be the second most watched NBA broadcast ever in ESPN's history, averaging 4.41 million viewers.[70] The first ever head-to-head meeting between Shaquille O'Neal and Yao Ming in 2003 was the only one with more viewers.[71]

The NBA also renamed the NBA All Star Game MVP Award to the NBA All-Star Game Kobe Bryant Most Valuable Player award, with Kawhi Leonard of the Los Angeles Clippers being the inaugural recipient, who a few days after the crash revealed that he and Bryant shared the same pilot, Ara Zobayan, who also lost his life in the accident.[72] The 2020 NBA All Star Game saw every player on Team LeBron wear the jersey number two for Gianna and every player on Team Giannis wear the jersey number 24 for Kobe. The All Star Game also temporarily changed to an Echelon-style format starting in 2020 with the leading score at the end of the third quarter plus 24 (Bryant's jersey number from 2006-2016) acting as the target score. This format would be scraped however in 2023, with the 2023 NBA All-Star Game in Salt Lake City being the final one under this format. The postponed Lakers-Clippers game was originally planned to be made up on April 9, however due to the suspension of the season on March 11, it was made up at the very beginning of the NBA restart on July 30 with the Lakers emerging victorious 103–101.[73]

A public memorial service was held on February 24 (2/24, marking both Kobe's and Gianna's jersey numbers) at the Staples Center (now Crypto.com Arena) with Jimmy Kimmel hosting. Speakers at the service included Bryant's widowed wife Vanessa, Michael Jordan, and Shaquille O'Neal, along with Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi and Geno Auriemma, Taurasi's coach at Connecticut, where Gianna had been aspiring to play.[74][75][76]

On October 11, 2020, the Lakers defeated the Miami Heat 4–2 in the 2020 NBA Finals to capture their 17th championship in franchise history and would dedicate the victory and their season to Bryant.[77]

In his first year of eligibility, Bryant was named a finalist for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, weeks after his death,[78] before being posthumously inducted in April 2020.[79] His formal induction was delayed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[80] In October 2021, Bryant was honored as one of the league's greatest players of all time by being named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team.[81]

Suspension of season and restart edit

On March 11, 2020, the game between the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder was abruptly postponed shortly before tipoff after it was discovered that the Jazz's player Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19.[82] That same evening, the game between the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings was also postponed last minute once it was discovered that a referee for the game, Courtney Kirkland, had worked a Utah Jazz game just two days prior.[83] Kirkland later tested negative for COVID-19.[84] The NBA then suspended the remainder of the 2019–20 season "until further notice" following the completion of games already underway.[1] This was the first time a regular season had been interrupted since the 2011 NBA lockout. The following day, Gobert's teammate Donovan Mitchell also tested positive.[85] On March 14, Detroit Pistons forward Christian Wood became the third NBA player to test positive for the virus, and the first outside of the Jazz.[86] On March 17, four Brooklyn Nets players, including superstar Kevin Durant, tested positive for the virus.[87] On March 19, two players for the Los Angeles Lakers, as well as Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics, tested positive for COVID-19. All players recovered and were cleared by local health officials.[88][89][90][91][92]

On May 23, it was announced that the NBA were in negotiations with The Walt Disney Company about the possibility to finish the season at Walt Disney World's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando.[93] On May 29, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and the league office informed Board of Governors that July 31 was the target date for a season return.[94]

On June 4, the NBA Board of Governors approved a plan to restart the season on July 31 in Orlando. Under this plan, 13 Western Conference teams and nine Eastern Conference teams, all clubs within six games of a playoff spot, would play eight regular-season "seeding" games. Play-in games for the eighth seed in each conference would then be held if the ninth seed finishes the regular season within four games of the eighth seed.[2] This proposal was then approved by members of the National Basketball Players Association on June 5.[3]

Players boycott edit

On August 26, 2020, the Milwaukee Bucks chose not to play in game 5 of the playoff series against the Orlando Magic to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake.[95] The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association announced that, in light of the Milwaukee Bucks striking for their game, the following games of the day would be postponed.[96] The Toronto Raptors had also discussed striking for their second-round playoff series with the Boston Celtics in frustration with a lack of social or legislative change after the murder of George Floyd and as a result of Blake's shooting before the Bucks' strike a few days later.[97]

Medical protocol for season restart edit

On June 16, 2020, the NBA released a medical protocol to be used during the season restart in the NBA Bubble at Walt Disney World to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches, officials, and staff.[98][99] This included regular testing for COVID-19 prior to and throughout the season restart, wearing a face covering or mask, and social distancing to prevent an outbreak of COVID-19 from occurring. Players and coaches who were deemed "high-risk individuals" by their team, or players who had already suffered season-ending injuries prior to season suspension, were not permitted to play and also did not lose any salary. Any player who was medically cleared could also decline to participate, but as a result lost their corresponding paychecks.[100]

Phase 1 of the plan ran from June 16 to 22, consisting of players traveling back to the home cities of their respective teams. In Phase 2 from June 23 to 30, COVID-19 tests began being administered to players every other day. In Phase 3 from July 1 to 11, mandatory individual workouts were conducted at team facilities, but group workouts were prohibited.[98]

Phase 4 ran from July 7 to 21, consisting of the teams traveling to Disney World and conducting practices. Any player who tested positive in the previous phases could not travel until he was medically cleared to do so. Once teams arrive in Orlando, players and staff were isolated in their rooms, requiring to pass two polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests 24 hours apart before being let out of this quarantine.[98] They were still regularly tested for COVID-19 afterwards. A player who tested positive would be isolated and re-tested in case of a false positive; if COVID-19 was definitely confirmed, he would be quarantined for at least 14 days to recover.[100]

Players and staff were not permitted into another's room, nor were they be able to socialize with players on other teams staying at a different hotel building. They had access to food and recreational activities within their hotel's bubble, but they had to wear masks indoors except when eating. Anybody who left the bubble without prior approval had to be quarantined for at least 10 days.[100]

During Phase 5 from July 22 to 29, teams played three scrimmages against the other teams staying at the same hotel. During Phase 6, when the regular-season seeding games and playoffs were under way and teams began to be eliminated from contention, players and staff on those clubs had to pass one final COVID-19 test before they could leave Disney World.[100]

The NBA also set up an anonymous hotline for players to report protocol violations while in the bubble.[101][102]

Statistics edit

Individual statistic leaders edit

Category Player Team(s) Statistic
Points per game James Harden Houston Rockets 34.3
Rebounds per game Andre Drummond Detroit/Cleveland 15.2
Assists per game LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers 10.2
Steals per game Ben Simmons Philadelphia 76ers 2.1
Blocks per game Hassan Whiteside Portland Trail Blazers 2.9
Turnovers per game Trae Young Atlanta Hawks 4.8
Fouls per game Jaren Jackson Jr. Memphis Grizzlies 4.1
Minutes per game Damian Lillard Portland Trail Blazers 37.5
FG% Mitchell Robinson New York Knicks 74.2%
FT% Brad Wanamaker Boston Celtics 92.6%
3FG% George Hill Milwaukee Bucks 46.0%
Efficiency per game Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks 34.6
Double-doubles Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks 56
Triple-doubles Luka Dončić Dallas Mavericks 17

Individual game highs edit

Category Player Team Statistic
Points Damian Lillard Portland Trail Blazers 61
Rebounds Jonas Valančiūnas Memphis Grizzlies 25
Assists LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers 19
Luka Dončić Dallas Mavericks
Steals Ben Simmons Philadelphia 76ers 7
Fred VanVleet Toronto Raptors
Jonathan Isaac Orlando Magic
Elfrid Payton New York Knicks
Dennis Smith Jr. New York Knicks
Ricky Rubio Phoenix Suns
OG Anunoby Toronto Raptors
Blocks Hassan Whiteside Portland Trail Blazers 10
Three-pointers Zach LaVine Chicago Bulls 13

Team statistic leaders edit

Category Team Statistic
Points per game Milwaukee Bucks 118.7
Rebounds per game Milwaukee Bucks 51.7
Assists per game Phoenix Suns 27.2
Steals per game Chicago Bulls 10.0
Blocks per game Los Angeles Lakers 6.6
Turnovers per game San Antonio Spurs 12.6
FG% Los Angeles Lakers 48.0%
FT% Phoenix Suns 83.4%
3FG% Utah Jazz 38.0%
+/− Milwaukee Bucks +10.1

Awards edit

Yearly awards edit

While the statistics from the seeding games were counted towards players' regular season totals, the NBA ruled that its end-of-season awards were only based on games through March 11 and excluded the seeding games.[103] Finalist for the major awards were announced during the seeding games.[104] Due to the pandemic, the NBA Awards show held the prior three years was cancelled, and award winners were instead announced on TNT during their coverage of the 2020 playoffs.[105][106]

2019–20 NBA awards
Award Recipient(s) Finalists[107]
Most Valuable Player Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks) James Harden (Houston Rockets)
LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers)
Defensive Player of the Year Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks) Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers)
Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz)
Rookie of the Year Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies) Kendrick Nunn (Miami Heat)
Zion Williamson (New Orleans Pelicans)
Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell (Los Angeles Clippers) Dennis Schröder (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Lou Williams (Los Angeles Clippers)
Most Improved Player Brandon Ingram (New Orleans Pelicans) Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat)
Luka Dončić (Dallas Mavericks)
Coach of the Year Nick Nurse (Toronto Raptors) Mike Budenholzer (Milwaukee Bucks)
Billy Donovan (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Executive of the Year Lawrence Frank (Los Angeles Clippers) Sam Presti (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Pat Riley (Miami Heat)
NBA Sportsmanship Award Vince Carter (Atlanta Hawks) Steven Adams (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Harrison Barnes (Sacramento Kings)
Langston Galloway (Detroit Pistons)
Tyus Jones (Memphis Grizzlies)
Garrett Temple (Brooklyn Nets)
J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award Malcolm Brogdon (Indiana Pacers) Jrue Holiday (New Orleans Pelicans)
Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Josh Okogie (Minnesota Timberwolves)
Lloyd Pierce (Atlanta Hawks)
Twyman–Stokes Teammate of the Year Award Jrue Holiday (New Orleans Pelicans) Tobias Harris (Philadelphia 76ers)
Kyle Korver (Milwaukee Bucks)
Community Assist Award Harrison Barnes (Sacramento Kings)
Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics)
George Hill (Milwaukee Bucks)
Chris Paul (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Dwight Powell (Dallas Mavericks)

Players of the Week edit

The following players were named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week.

Week Eastern Conference Western Conference Ref
October 22–27 Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks) (1/1) Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves) (1/1) [111]
October 28 – November 3 Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks) (1/4) Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers) (1/2) [112]
November 4–10 Pascal Siakam (Toronto Raptors) (1/2) James Harden (Houston Rockets) (1/2) [113]
November 11–17 Nikola Vučević (Orlando Magic) (1/1) James Harden (Houston Rockets) (2/2) [114]
November 18–24 Spencer Dinwiddie (Brooklyn Nets) (1/1) Luka Dončić (Dallas Mavericks) (1/1) [115]
November 25 – December 1 Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks) (2/4) Carmelo Anthony (Portland Trail Blazers) (1/1) [116][117]
December 2–8 Jimmy Butler (Miami Heat) (1/1) Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers) (2/2) [118]
December 9–15 Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat) (1/1) LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers) (1/3) [119]
December 16–22 Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors) (1/1) Dennis Schröder (Oklahoma City Thunder) (1/1) [120]
December 23–29 Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics) (1/2) Brandon Ingram (New Orleans Pelicans) (1/1) [121][122]
December 30 – January 5 Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks) (3/4) LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers) (2/3) [123]
January 6–12 Josh Richardson (Philadelphia 76ers) (1/1) DeMar DeRozan (San Antonio Spurs) (1/1) [124]
January 13–19 Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers) (1/1) Kawhi Leonard (Los Angeles Clippers) (1/1) [125][126]
January 20–26 Pascal Siakam (Toronto Raptors) (2/2) Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers) (1/2) [127][128]
January 27 – February 2 Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics) (2/2) Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers) (2/2) [129]
February 3–9 Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics) (1/1) Nikola Jokić (Denver Nuggets) (1/1) [130][131]
February 24 – March 1 Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks) (4/4) Kristaps Porziņģis (Dallas Mavericks) (1/1) [132][133]
March 2–8 Norman Powell (Toronto Raptors) (1/1) LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers) (3/3) [134]

Players of the Month edit

The following players were named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month.

Month Eastern Conference Western Conference Ref
October/November Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks) (1/3) Luka Dončić (Dallas Mavericks) (1/1) [135]
December Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks) (2/3) James Harden (Houston Rockets) (1/1) [136]
January Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks) (3/3) LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers) (1/2) [137]
February Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics) (1/1) LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers) (2/2) [138]

Rookies of the Month edit

The following players were named the Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month.

Month Eastern Conference Western Conference Ref
October/November Kendrick Nunn (Miami Heat) (1/3) Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies) (1/3) [139][140]
December Kendrick Nunn (Miami Heat) (2/3) Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies) (2/3) [141][142]
January Kendrick Nunn (Miami Heat) (3/3) Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies) (3/3) [143][144]
February Coby White (Chicago Bulls) (1/1) Zion Williamson (New Orleans Pelicans) (1/1) [145][146]

Coaches of the Month edit

The following coaches were named the Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month.

Month Eastern Conference Western Conference Ref
October/November Nick Nurse (Toronto Raptors) (1/2) Frank Vogel (Los Angeles Lakers) (1/1) [147][148]
December Mike Budenholzer (Milwaukee Bucks) (1/2) Billy Donovan (Oklahoma City Thunder) (1/1) [149][150]
January Nick Nurse (Toronto Raptors) (2/2) Taylor Jenkins (Memphis Grizzlies) (1/1) [151][152]
February Mike Budenholzer (Milwaukee Bucks) (2/2) Mike D'Antoni (Houston Rockets) (1/1) [153][154]

Seeding games edit

Awards for seeding games play were also announced, with Damian Lillard named Player of the Seeding Games after averaging 37.6 points per game.[155]

Seeding Games awards
Award Recipient(s)
Player of the Seeding Games Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
Coach of the Seeding Games Monty Williams (Phoenix Suns)
All-Seeding Games First Team Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns)
Luka Dončić (Dallas Mavericks)
James Harden (Houston Rockets)
Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
T. J. Warren (Indiana Pacers)
All-Seeding Games Second Team Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)
Kawhi Leonard (Los Angeles Clippers)
Caris LeVert (Brooklyn Nets)
Michael Porter Jr. (Denver Nuggets)
Kristaps Porziņģis (Dallas Mavericks)

Arenas edit

Media edit

This was the fourth year of the current nine-year contracts with ABC, ESPN, TNT and NBA TV.[161]

Under an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice regarding Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox, the Fox Sports Regional Networks were required to be sold off to third parties by June 18, 2019.[162] Fox also invoked a clause to give Yankee Global Enterprises the rights to buy their stake back in the YES Network, which aired the local broadcasts to the NBA's Brooklyn Nets.[163] Including YES, the Fox Sports Regional Networks held the local TV rights to a combined total of 44 NHL, NBA, and MLB teams.[164] On March 8, YES was sold to a consortium including Yankee Global Enterprises, Amazon, and Sinclair Broadcast Group for $3.5 billion.[165] Then on May 3, Sinclair and Entertainment Studios agreed to purchase the rest of the Fox Sports Regional Networks.[166] The networks continued to temporarily use the Fox Sports name under a transitional license agreement while Sinclair explored re-branding options.[167]

Notable occurrences edit

 
The Golden 1 Center being emptied on March 11, 2020, after the game between the Sacramento Kings and the New Orleans Pelicans was postponed due to COVID-19
  • On October 23, Kyrie Irving set the record for most points (50) in debut game with new team[168][169]
  • On October 24, 2019, Vince Carter of the Atlanta Hawks became the first player in NBA history to play 22 seasons. Carter officially checked in the game at 6:52 in the first quarter against the Detroit Pistons.[170]
  • On October 29, 2019, Anthony Davis set the record for most free throws made (18) in a quarter[171]
  • On November 3, 2019, Luka Dončić of the Dallas Mavericks became the youngest player to record consecutive 25-point triple-doubles.[172]
  • On November 19, 2019, LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers became the first player in NBA history to record a triple-double against all 30 NBA teams.[173]
  • On November 25, 2019, Carmelo Anthony of the Portland Trail Blazers passed Alex English for 18th on the NBA all-time scoring list.
  • On November 27, 2019, LeBron James became the fourth player in NBA history to reach 33,000 career points.[174]
  • On December 3, 2019, James Harden set a record for the most free throws made (24) in a game with no misses[175][176]
  • On December 8, 2019, Luka Dončić surpassed the record for the most consecutive games with at least 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists since the ABA-NBA merger in 1976. Michael Jordan previously held the record, recording 18 consecutive games with at least 20–5–5 between March 13, 1989, and April 4, 1989.[177]
  • On December 10, 2019, Vince Carter became the fifth player in NBA history to play at least 1,500 games.[178]
  • On December 14, 2019, James Harden became the first player to record back-to-back 50-point games with more than 10 three-pointers[179]
  • On December 28, 2019, Jrue Holiday of the New Orleans Pelicans, in addition to Justin Holiday and Aaron Holiday of the Indiana Pacers, became the first three brothers to play in the same NBA game.[180]
  • On December 29, 2019, LeBron James became the first player in NBA history to record at least 30,000 points, 9,000 rebounds and 9,000 assists.[181]
  • On January 1, 2020, NBA Commissioner Emeritus David Stern died at the age of 77, due to a brain hemorrhage sustained a few weeks prior.[182] For the remainder of the season, all thirty teams wore a black stripe of fabric on the left side of their jerseys in memory of Stern.[183]
  • On January 4, 2020, Vince Carter became the only player in NBA history to have played in four different decades.[184]
  • On January 13, 2020, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder became the youngest player in NBA history to record a 20-rebound triple-double at 21 years and 185 days old.[185]
  • On January 15, 2020, Chandler Parsons of the Atlanta Hawks was hit by a drunk driver, suffering potentially career-ending injuries.[186]
  • On January 17, 2020, Carmelo Anthony of the Portland Trail Blazers became the 18th player in NBA history to reach 26,000 points.
  • On January 20, 2020, Russell Westbrook of the Houston Rockets became the second player to record a triple-double against all 30 NBA teams.[187]
  • On January 22, 2020, Vince Carter moved past Alex English for 19th on the NBA all-time scoring list.[188]
  • On January 25, 2020, LeBron James moved past Kobe Bryant for 3rd on the NBA all-time scoring list.[189]
  • On January 26, 2020, a day after being passed by LeBron James for 3rd on the NBA's all-time scoring list, Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.[190] During the first minute of each game for this day (outside of the first matchup of the day between the Denver Nuggets and Houston Rockets, which tipped off just minutes after news of the tragedy had broken), players paid tribute by dribbling through the 24-second shot clock violation and the 8-second backcourt violation, referencing the two numbers Bryant wore during his career.[191] In addition to this, the 2020 NBA All-Star Game was played with jersey numbers 24 and 2, the latter to pay tribute to Gianna.[192][193]
  • On January 27, the NBA announced that they would postpone the January 28 game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center out of respect to Bryant.[194] The game was later originally rescheduled for April 9,[195] but was eventually played as the first game of the NBA restart on July 30 following the suspension of play due to the coronavirus pandemic.[196]
  • On January 29, 2020, Carmelo Anthony moved past Kevin Garnett for 17th on the NBA all-time scoring list.
  • On January 31, 2020, Vince Carter moved up to third place in the NBA all-time games played list with 1,523 passing Dirk Nowitzki in the process.[197]
  • On February 23, 2020, the Milwaukee Bucks clinched the earliest playoff berth with their 137–134 win over the Washington Wizards.[198]
  • On March 1, 2020, Shake Milton tied the record for most consecutive 3-point field goals made (13) over a span of three games; Brent Price and Terry Mills did as well[199][200]
  • On March 11, 2020, the league suspended the season indefinitely after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, just hours after the WHO declared the disease a pandemic on the same day. Gobert's positive test causes a massive ripple effect, causing a shutdown of the vast majority of the sports world within five days.[1] Vince Carter played in what became his final game, hitting a three-pointer as his final shot in a 136–131 overtime loss to the New York Knicks.[201]
  • On June 4, the NBA Board of Governors approved 29–1 (with the lone dissenter being the Portland Trail Blazers) resuming the 2019–20 season in Orlando, Florida at Walt Disney World, after prior consideration of Las Vegas and Houston as potential spots.[202]
  • On June 16, 2020, the NBA released a medical protocol to be used during the season restart in the bubble to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches, officials, and staff.[203][204]
  • On June 25, 2020, Vince Carter officially announced his retirement after 22 seasons and four separate decades in the NBA. He is the only player to accomplish both these feats.[201]
  • On July 30, 2020, the regular season resumed in the NBA bubble.[205]
  • On August 8, 2020, Luka Dončić recorded his 17th triple-double of the season, clinching his spot as the youngest player to ever lead the NBA in triple-doubles in a season.[206]
  • On August 10, 2020, Carmelo Anthony moved past John Havlicek and Paul Pierce, respectively, for 16th and 15th on the NBA all-time scoring list.
  • On August 13, 2020, the San Antonio Spurs were eliminated from playoff contention, ending an NBA record-tying 22-year streak.[207]
  • On August 17, 2020, Donovan Mitchell scored 57 points, the third highest in NBA single-game playoff history, against the Denver Nuggets in game 1 of their playoff series.[208]
  • On August 23, 2020, Luka Dončić's performance in game 4 of the Dallas Mavericks playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers, including 43 points, 17 rebounds, 13 assists, and a game-winning buzzer beater, broke a number of records. He became the youngest player to hit a game-winning buzzer beater in the playoffs, one of only three players to make 40-plus points, 15-plus rebounds, and 10-plus assists in a playoff game, one of only five players to make 40-plus points including a buzzer beater in a playoff game, first Dallas Maverick to have a triple-double in the playoffs, among others.[209][210]
  • On August 23, 2020, Donovan Mitchell scored 51 points and Jamal Murray scored 50 points in a playoff game between the Utah Jazz and the Denver Nuggets, the first time in NBA history that two players scored 50 points in a playoff game.
  • On August 26, 2020, the Milwaukee Bucks decided to boycott game 5 of their playoff series against the Orlando Magic in order to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake a few days prior. Similar decisions by the Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers, and Los Angeles Lakers came shortly after.[211]
  • On September 15, 2020, the Denver Nuggets defeated the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference semifinals after initially trailing in the series 3–1. This marked the first time that a team overcame consecutive 3–1 series deficits in a single playoff run, as the Nuggets had previously overcome a 3–1 series deficit to win their first round series against the Utah Jazz.[212]
  • On October 11, 2020, Talen Horton-Tucker became the second-youngest NBA player to win an NBA championship after the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Miami Heat 106–93 to win the 2020 NBA Finals.[213]
  • Tony Snell had the first 50-50-100 season (min. 100 attempts) in NBA history[214]
  • James Harden became the third player to lead the league in points and steals in the same season[215]

See also edit

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