28th April 2012. A day anyone who calls themselves an NBA fan would like to forget. Game one, 76ers vs The Bulls, Eastern-Conference first round.
With the Bulls up 99-87 and 1:23 left in the game, the youngest MVP in league history Derrick Rose drove down the middle, jump-stopped and tore his ACL. The top-seeded Bulls would go on to lose the series and the future of the NBA was undoubtedly altered.
Derrick Rose only played 10 games last season, Westbrook missed 36 games, Dwayne Wade only suited up for 54 appearances. With all these great players missing large chunks of the season, should the NBA shorten it hefty schedule?
The National Basketball Association boasts some of the best athletes in the world. With the likes of LeBron James, Blake Griffin and Russell Westbrook slamming their way into countless highlight reels every night, who wouldn't want more of the amazing? But all this high-flying has led to some nasty crashes.
Every season, there are several big-name players who miss significant playing time due to serious injuries. Along with the names above, Kobe Bryant only played six games due to his achilles tear and a fracture in his knee. Anthony Davis, the Uni-brow, only played 67 games and Chris Paul missed 20 games due to a shoulder injury.
These and Rose's cases are the perfect examples of why the NBA should reduce the number of games during the regular season. The game is so much faster than it was 30 years ago.
All these explosive athletes put so much wear and tear on their bodies that through the course of the season, injuries are inevitable. English football teams only play one or two times a week, NFL teams only have 16 games in a regular season. NBA teams have a combined 82 regular season games plus the playoffs to deal with.
Back to back games are on every team's schedule with the added pain of travelling in between. Players don't get enough sleep for their bodies to fully heal leaving them vulnerable to the taxing NBA schedule.
What's the point of watching the NBA if some of its main attractions aren't there? People tune in to watch the likes of LeBron, Durant and Griffin strut their stuff. If they're not in the lineup then a lot of casual fans simply won't be interested. This could lead to a huge loss in money for a lot of people including the NBA franchises which would be detrimental to everyone.
To the hardcore NBA fans, it is commonly know that the regular season is really just a warmup; the playoffs is where the real basketball is played. Star-studded teams going head to head, all for the chance to taste the sweet champagne and lift the Larry O'Brien trophy.
Here is where the best basketball in the world is shown, but it't wouldn't be nearly as compelling if the main attractions were unavailable. Since the best teams usually feature the best players, the last thing the NBA would want is for one of its stars to miss the playoffs because of an injury.
What should happen
As a die-hard NBA fan it pains me to say what I'm about to say. One of my favourite things about the NBA is that during the regular season they're are games on nearly every night. Unlike most other sports you don't have to sit around all week impatiently waiting for the weekend, you can turn on your TV every evening and most of the time there's a good match-up on.
Even with all this in mind, I think they association should shorten its regular season, but just by a little bit. To me, 70-75 games would be perfect amount, as it would reduce the risk of injuries and still keep basketball fans happy. It should also eliminate back to back games to relieve the huge of amount of both physical and mental stress it causes.
The reigning MVP Kevin Durant is going to miss the first few weeks of the season with a foot injury. Paul George broke his leg this offseason playing for Team USA. Bradley Beal will miss 6-8 weeks with a broken wrist.
All these incidences point to one thing: you really can have too much of a good thing. The league needs to sort this problem now, before the epidemic leads to more career-ending injuries.