After a jam-packed Monday night, the NBA is at rest on Tuesday. Not one of 30 teams is scheduled to play.
League officials left Election Day open on purpose as part of their effort to educate players and the public about political participation.
“We don’t usually change the schedule for an external event,” said James Cadogan, executive director of the National Basketball Social Justice Coalition, to NBC News in August. “But voting and Election Day are obviously unique and incredibly important to our democracy.”
The NBA’s Election Day programming
In addition to taking Election Day off, the NBA encouraged teams to make announcements about voting in the lead-up to Tuesday and hosted related events.
For example, the league held a virtual roundtable Monday about the midterm elections with Cadogan, Harrison Barnes of the Sacramento Kings and Natalie Tran, co-founder of the “I am a voter” movement.
“The NBA is creating a culture of political participation, which extends not only to its athletes but to fans as well,” said Andrea Hailey, the CEO of Vote.org, to The Associated Press about these efforts. “Players, coaches, event staff and fans all deserve to have the time and space to make their voices heard at the ballot box. The league is setting an important precedent that I hope other businesses and leagues will follow.”
Has the NBA taken a day off before?
Although 2022 is not the first year the NBA has been involved in efforts to get out the vote, the league has not previously gone as far as playing no games on Election Day, according to NBC News.
“While (COVID-19) pushed the start of the 2020 season past election day, eight teams competed on Election Day 2018, 12 teams in 2016, with 16 teams playing the night of the 2014 midterms,” the article said.
Traditionally, the NBA only goes quiet on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. It also tries to avoid conflicting with the biggest nights of the NCAA’s “March Madness” tournament, The Associated Press reported.
When is the next NBA game?
The NBA will be back in action on Wednesday, when 13 games are scheduled.
The earliest ones — Portland Trailblazers vs. Charlotte Hornets, Denver Nuggets vs. Indiana Pacers and Dallas Mavericks vs. Orlando Magic — begin at 5 p.m. MST.