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NBA hopes some fans will be in arenas when the 2020-21 season tips off

No schedule has been announced yet, but the aim is to have spectators watching in person as early as December.
Fans celebrate after the Los Angeles Lakers won the 2020 NBA Championship in Game 6, after defeating the Miami Heat, in Los Angeles on Oct. 11, 2020.Kyle Grillot / AFP - Getty Images

The NBA hopes to have fans in the stands and luxury suites, even if just a few, when the league starts its 2020-21 season.

Owners and players are still in talks on when to start the next campaign, perhaps as early as Dec. 22 or as late as Jan. 18.

No schedule has yet been released, but when the league does tip off, the hope is to have spectators inside 30 the NBA arenas.

A source familiar with the NBA planning told NBC News the goal is to have fans at the games in adherence with all local government guidance, following protocols that could include masks, social distancing and testing.

Pro basketball, like sports across the world, was shut down in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

There were no games played from March 12 to July 29, before the league resumed action in a "bubble" near Orlando.

The season ended on Oct. 11 when the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

A typical NBA season includes an 82-game regular season but the next campaign might be cut to 72 contests.