NBA open to shortening the NBA season from 82 games

Any NBA player would tell you that the NBA season is a long and strenuous one, as the 82 games required, before even considering the playoffs, take a toll on your body both physically and mentally.

The longevity of the NBA season can cause players to be more prone to injury, thus having the potential to alter their team’s fate in their finish in the conference, their position in the playoffs, and how far into the postseason they go if they make it.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has recognized this and is willing to make adjustments to the season in the hope that it will allow players to better endure the threat of injury. He would be willing to cut the length of the NBA regular season down from 82 games.

Silver said according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today: “There’s nothing magical about 82 games. It’s been in place for 50 years, but for the long-term planning of the league, as we learn more about the human body and the wear and tear of travel and the competitive landscape … invariably we’ll look at the regular season.”

Teams have been resting players in order to make sure they’re able to produce the best record possible over the duration of the 82 games and to also make sure they have the best squad possible for the playoffs if they make it that far in the season.

Although recent league legislation has introduced new penalties against the practice of resting marquee players in marquee games on marquee networks, a reduced season should be able to help combat this problem as well.

Silver also suggested that a shorter season would also provide the NBA to travel to distant markets in order to expand the game. He said: “We can play games in China and Europe, or occasional preseason games as a one-off, but under existing airline technology, the planes aren’t fast enough to at least play in the current framework of our regular season.

“(But) it may be something we’ll be looking at over the coming years, is what a regular season schedule look like a decade from now.”

Ultimately, however, it will be team owners that will have the final say on a shorter season, and it’s going to be a tough sell to them since fewer games would mean less revenue coming in each year from their respective teams.

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