The 5 Things You Need To Know About The 2021-2022 NBA Season

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Sliding into your podcast queue just before the season starts. It's the 75th anniversary of the NBA, and there's a chance the Milwaukee Bucks will repeat this season but honestly, the field is wide open. But we're not here to talk standings and odds. Let's talk about the more exciting side of the NBA Season. Fashion first, always. Leaguewide, teams will wear 123 different uniforms this season, with each team receiving four jersey editions: Association, Icon, City and Statement. Three OG NBA franchises – New York Knicks, Golden State Warriors (then Philadelphia) and Boston Celtics will wear a fifth Classic edition uniform. (The original shorty-shorts are not included). On those wide varieties of jerseys, you'll see the jersey sponsorships patches. The patches, which are now commonplace across the league, started in 2017 and have generated more than $150 million in operating revenue. Ever wonder where all of the money goes from the fines handed out to the players and coaches? To charity. Half of the money goes to the NBA for distribution to its official charitable partners. The other half goes to the NBPA's (National Basketball Players Association) non-profit, the NBPA Foundation. Some years the donations to the NBPA Foundation have totaled between $2.5 - $3 million. The funds go to furthering the sport and assistance to individuals, communities and organizations, sometimes globally. Old guys rule, for now. Many of the familiar faces in the league, like LeBron James (36), Chris Paul (36) and Dwight Howard (35), are the oldest players in the league. Look for young players like Zion Williamson (New Orleans Pelicans) and Cade Cunningham (Detroit Pistons) to step into the spotlight this season. The Los Angeles Lakers, which James and Howard both play for, is the oldest team in the league with an average age of 30.4. The Oklahoma City Thunder are the youngest, with an average age of 23.4. Look out men, the women are taking the court, and technically, they're in charge. Danielle Scott, the daughter of a college basketball official, becomes the sixth full-time female referee this season. That's the most women the NBA has ever had on staff at one time. You can't talk about the season and not speak about COVID. The NBA is the last major professional sports league to emerge from COVID protocols and resume a regularly scheduled season, but city-imposed mandates will impact the game. In New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles, out-of-town teams are exempt from the vaccination mandates, but the home teams are not. You've likely heard about Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets) and how he can't even practice with his team until he's vaccinated. Irving's story may be the loudest but isn’t the norm as the league is 95% vaccinated. Bonus: Here are the nuts and bolts of the season. Thirty teams will play 82 games – 41 at home and 41 away. At the end of the season, the top six teams in each of the two conferences will claim a place in the playoffs. The seventh through 10th ranked seeds will compete in a play-in tournament for each conference's two remaining playoff spots. Yes, more than half of the league makes it to the playoffs. LINKS: Shop the store: lastnightsgame.com use promo code SPORTSCURIOUS

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