Money identified as main reason to continue with so many games…
Former Miami Heat star Shane Battier believes that a 60-game NBA regular season would be “perfect” as the debate rumbles on over easing the schedule.
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Battier was talking at a panel discussion at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on Friday, and along with former Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni, both agreed that the current 82-game season doesn’t work for various reasons.
While D’Antoni identified that the obvious reason behind playing so many games is the revenue it generates, he believes that it “isn’t going anywhere” as the marathon is having negative impacts on all concerned.
Commissioner Adam Silver has made a point of insisting that he wants to make schedule changes to ease the strain on the players, but it is unclear as to how he will do so.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban hasn’t been shy in offering his advice, but his idea of elongating the season into the summer and therefore spreading games across a bigger window would potentially fix the issue.
Cuban was more concerned with the number of back-to-backs that teams play and how crowded the schedule can be some weeks, and so it is a growing feeling within the NBA that something needs to change.
“Personally, I think a 60-game season would be perfect,” Battier said, according to Pro Basketball Talk.
“Every game matters more. You can’t sleepwalk through a few weeks of the season — it does happen — and then all of a sudden wake up near the All-Star break and turn it on. Fans just want to see the best basketball players in the world at their highest level going head-to-head.
“Every team has a certain number of throwaway games. You just know. You just know you’re not winning tonight. You don’t have it. And then after the game, coach knows it, everybody knows it, coach comes in, says ‘Alright, bring it in guys. We’ll get ‘em tomorrow. 1-2-3 team!'”
From a competitive standpoint, it seems clear that the solution is to either shorten the season in terms of the number of games played, or opt for Cuban’s idea and stretch the season out.
The decision will of course lie with Silver, but given his positive work since taking office, it would come as no surprise if he is able to find a solution that keeps all parties happy.