The NBA summer is a long grueling slog for fans. Once the finals wrap up there are only a few moments to punctuate the long barren period where the drama and adrenaline of the NBA is shut down. There’s the Draft Lottery, The Draft itself, the odd trade and free agent deal, sometimes the league will push out some rule changes or introduce a new quirk for the coming season. Mostly though the highlight of the summer for NBA fans is the release of the coming seasons NBA game schedule.
When does the NBA schedule come out? Typically the NBA releases the game schedule for the coming season in mid August. In 2023 it was August 17th, 2022 was also August 17th and 2021 was August 20th. The NBA usually releases the full seasons schedule in full for all 30 teams.
The NBA schedule features 1,230 games, that’s each of the 30 teams playing 41 games at home. It is a mammoth task of planning, to ensure it is fair, accurate and reduces travel and environmental impact as much as reasonably possible. It even has to fit around the availability of certain teams arena’s, every February the Spurs pack their bags and hit the road as the Rodeo is in town. This has become known as the Rodeo Road Trip.
What are the key NBA schedule dates?
Opening night and Christmas Day are two of the big schedule announcements. Every fan wants to know who their team faces in the first game and it has become prestigious to be selected for the Christmas game card and for many fans a huge part of their holiday tradition.
Other key days for the NBA are Rivals Week. In this scheduling gimmick the NBA attempts to schedule rivals against each other to emulate the passion of collegiate basketball. This is hit and miss, but the attempt is always appreciated. For the 2023-24 season Rivals Week starts January 23rd and is headlined by Celtics Heat and Lakers Warriors.
Martin Luther King Day is also a big draw. This American holiday is a key opportunity for the NBA to grab eyeballs and always puts on a strong slate of games. This season it is Monday 15th January.
What other key NBA dates are there?
The addition of the “in-season” Tournament is a big one this season. We’ve listed some key dates for the 2023-24 season below.
Oct. 3: Training camp opens
Oct. 5: Start of preseason games
Oct. 20: End of preseason games
Oct. 24: Start of 2023-24 regular season
Nov. 3: NBA In-Season Tournament begins
Dec. 7: NBA In-Season Tournament Semifinals
Dec. 9: NBA In-Season Tournament Finals
Feb. 16-18: NBA All-Star Weekend 2024
April 14: 2023-24 regular season ends