Thursday, April 30th, 2009 at 10:00 am  |  73 responses

Should the NBA Shorten the Regular Season?

by Marcel Mutoni

The League’s regular season, in reality, lasts about 6 months, but it feels a lot longer than that. And that’s coming from someone who never suits up. Imagine how the players must feel.

Evidently, some of them agree that the entire affair drags on for far too long, and would like to see it cut down some. And some would even accept a pay cut to make it happen.

USA Today reports:

Any reduction of games would require a requisite cutback of salaries. No problem, says Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen, who is making $17.4 million this season.

“I’d give some of my check back,” he says. “And I venture to say the quality of the games would go up another notch.”

Portland Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy would take the corresponding pay cut, “because it might add years to the end of your career.”

And that’s an important point, according to Celtics forward Paul Pierce. “You look at some guys. After they’re done playing, they can barely walk.”

Naturally, there’s a flipside to this, as some players say they enjoy playing the full 82 (and the hefty paycheck that comes along with that sched.)

While still largely unlikely, what do you guys think, should the League seriously think about altering its schedule?

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  • etaboliserum

    i mean…it just means less basketball. which is never a good thing. shouldn’t these guys stop complaining and just take what comes with their dream jobs?

  • Ken

    Since I only watch Basketball, I like the longer season.

  • etaboliserum

    i think the coaches should take it upon themselves to start using minutes more wisely to maximize their stars, rather then the league shortening the season.

  • http://www.another48minutes.blogspot.com Gerard Himself

    no! 82! I don’t have any motives, but it has to be 82.

  • Monkeyball

    They were playing 80-game seasons in 1960. Today players have better conditions, better training, better medical resources. Current players should take it. That’s why they get paid the big bucks. If the Celtics want to play Ray Allen for half a season, and he’ll give back the money, let them. Let’s just see what the fans have to say.
    Teams should play 82-game seasons, as they’ve been doing for almost half a century. It would betray the tradition of the NBA to shorten the regular season. It would irrevocably destroy comparisons between past generations of teams and players and current ones.
    It is, in short, a horrible idea.

  • sab

    been saying this for ages – there are too many teams and too many games, and the quality of the product is suffering. a third of the league were awful this year, and when they play each other, no-one cares. of course, it’ll never happen – Stern is obsessed with expansion. but i just don’t think there’s enough good basketball players in the world to justify a league of this size…

  • lakers4life

    It has to be 82.

    “You look at some guys. After they’re done playing, they can barely walk.”

    think about retired boxers

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    How about 81 games?

  • sab

    on the other hand, it’s easy for Allen and Roy to say this – “10 million or 12 million – ummm doesn’t really matter, i’m still rich!”

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    I like the 82 game season. But if it were to be shortened to 73 or something similair (so 68-78 or so) then that would be ok with me, especially if it means players bodies are preserved and they can play at a higher level for longer.
    That also means that current records will be invalid when assessing future players. Things such as total points, FT’s made etc. You can’t just average it out and say, ‘well at this rate he would’ve scored this many points over a season’ or whatever. It just doesn’t work.
    It’s the same with assists and scoring average. If LeBron James (or Wade/whoever) has to play Ron Artest more times in a season, his ppg is likely to drop a little, maybe only an incremental amount, but he can’t say ‘oh I averaged 37ppg, the same as Jordan did’, because he did it in less games.

  • capostat

    Natural to accept a paycut when you’re a star player making above the average salary. It’s going to be the opposite response with lower salary players who more importantly also play less than 15 minutes/game–”Leave the season alone”!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    This. Will. Not. Happen.

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    How about working on replays first?

  • http://www.another48minutes.blogspot.com Gerard Himself

    co-sign Monkeyball. With that being said, when talking about the quality of the game: there are too many teams. I started following the League when there were 27 teams, and I actually never heard people complaining about it

  • Clockwork

    I love 82 games, but sometines I feel that the lenght of the season does take its toll on the body of many players. There were a lot of injuries this season and I think that if the number of games played was shortened to maybe 70, then there would be less players getting hurt. And do we really need to see Sacramento play the Clippers like 4 times in a season?

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    Aren’t teams ALREADY losing money? playing less home games would mean even less revenue for each team wouldn’t it?

  • Addam

    How about limiting the number of timeouts in a game? OT looks more like a football game than the free-flowing sport that Basketball was ment to be.

  • http://lacuevacrosscountry.com Slick Nick Da Ruler

    Keep the 83 game schedule, trim the league to 24 teams.

  • John D

    At least they’re not thinking about adding MORE games, like the NFL. Now that would suck.

  • catalan

    I want a better league with 24 teams, no more of 60 games.

  • http://www.slamonline.com wayno

    4 games each, then the playoffs…repeat process 1 week after season is over…

  • http://www.slamonline.com wayno

    seriously though, that’s just dumb, don’t shorten the seasons, Ray Ray needs to man up and stop complaining about it…hegets paid MILLIONS OF DOLLARS to play basketball, and not he wants to do it less? Come on….

  • Harlem_World

    teams just need to bleed their benches better during the season and monitor minutes. Contrary to popular belief, there are actually MORE players of better quality today than years ago (OVERALL). Diving the minutes up better will develop players better, improve your overall depth and save valuable minutes off of your franchise players legs.

  • Phil B

    I’m pretty sure Roy doesn’t make 12 mil a season, since this is just his third season. Allen probably does. I think shortening the season would be great. It sure seems like lots of these guys take games off. I think quality would go up. It’ll never happen though.

  • http://www.lamarcusaldridge.com/aldridge/index Dean Tharp

    Keep the 82 games. Keep only 24 teams.

  • cdef28

    Ryan is right. Wuth the economy the way it is, Stern will not go for less games because that means less revenue.

  • Prison Mike

    play each team twice. one home, one away. 58 games

  • http://www.nba.com JE

    This is stupid. If they’re going to do anything, just make the first round 5 games again.

  • Alan

    this will never happen. would mean less money from TV’s. And nobody can mess with the money…

  • Exec Eaze

    I mean it would give us a coulple more years with the class of 96…. but damn less games to watch plus the money will start looking funny, hell naw that wont fly

  • http://www.broy7.com nate the great

    idk. if you shorten the season, you would get better quality ball. fatigue wont play a factor, and nobody would see a limping wade..
    But look at Kobe. He is in his 30′s and he played a lot last season, then fiba, then olympics, then a lot this season, and he still looks great.
    its how you train. i doubt kobe goes out and partys… yes maybe an occasional r@pe here and their. but atleast he plays entertaining ball, and doesnt complain about being tired.

  • http://www.reacavsfans.com Anton

    Shaq’s got you fooled, he only plays 41.

  • Exec Eaze

    If you wanna shorten a season mayne baseball is on 24/7 dont they play like 162 game a piece give or take a tie breaker or two….thats uncalled for

  • Statik

    LOL @ nate…of course a guy who has been the number one guy on his team for years and had to play a great amount of minutes to keep his teams relevant would say that, but they’re not using what they have in the first place. Lots of players ride the pine while they could at least lend valuable minutes to a game and preserve other guys for the long haul. And if you take on added responsibility (i.e. Worlds, Olympics, endless pickup games, etc) during the offseason, you should shut the f*c up and learn to manage your body better

  • tindore

    f**K no…thats ridiculous…keep the league the same…something needs to be done about horrible teams like Detroit getting a playoff spot and the Suns winning 46 games and the Warriors winning 48 last year while horrible teams get in just cause its in a conferance w/ a horrible group of 8th seed contenders…. dont change the reg season 82 games and 16 wins in the playoffs is great… the greatest players stay in shape, work on thier games, and play basketball all year basketball is thier lives, and rarely miss chunks of game, look it up…others like T-Mac or B-Diddy look foward to the summer off for whatever else and miss huge chunks

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    I’d be more in favor of a contraction to 26 teams than shortening the regular season.

  • K-Nasty

    I’m actually in favor of cutting a few games off the schedule. There’s just too many chances for a team to lose players to injury for the playoffs. Celts and Spurs never had a real chance this year because they lost their stars over a long grueling schedule.

  • matt the jazz fan

    agree with the consensus here. contract the league but don’t shorten the season.
    in fact, create a second division and have the bottom team in each division go down (and the top team from division 2 go up) so that end of season games have a meaning.

  • youngmuggsy

    They should get a regular job then, they’ll be lucky if they can play ball once a week.

  • http://jakeandamir.com tealish

    Nope. This will mess with history. Aren’t these guys supposed to be in better shape than players from the 70′s, 80′s, etc? Almost everyone looks ripped and conditioned (exceptions: Curry, Marshall), so why not play the full 82?

  • http://www.slamonline.com wayno

    The playoffs should change thier format…do it like the NHL, the division leaders are in, then the remaining spots are filled by the best teams regardless of the conference. That would make the playoffs WAY more interesting.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Wayno, since when does NHL let people in regardless of conference? The MLS does that but no one else.

  • kwame

    shorter post season…5 games for first round like it used to be…

  • kwame

    and fewer back to back

  • http://www.sprint.com/sero dma

    yes. you only need to play every team twice. 29×2 = 58 games. then david stern can make it best of 9 series like he really wants.

  • http://www.sprint.com/sero dma

    playing LESS games makes the demand higher. only a handful of teams sold out all their games. there were a lot of arenas that were at half capacity.

  • http://www.ojhoops.blogspot.com the baconator

    I don’t mind 82 games (sure beats baseball’s 100+), but shorten the postseason. It lasts 3 fricking MONTHS!! I’d love to see best-of-5 for the first two rounds, then best-of-7 for the conference and overall finals

  • Josh D

    From a fans point of view it is great but 82 is way too long for the players

  • http://www.slamonline.com wayno

    My bad, I meant MLS…brain fart…

  • http://www.slamonline.com wayno

    What I did want to say about the NHL is that they play 82 games and take WAY more of a beating than NBA players…If they can do it, NBA players should be able to. Like I said, they get paid to PLAY BASKETBALL and do nothing else! 82 games is hardly too much to ask.

  • http://galatasaray.org madamerica

    I don’t really care about the length of the regular season, but I cannot understand why any basketball fan would want to see shorter playoffs. I mean it’s the greatest time of the year for a fan. And it takes 2 months not 3. That’s mostly because of the scheduling not the number of games. They space playoffs games apart, and sometimes there’s a week between series. Best of 7 is great, no one should mess with it.

  • Adam T

    Never gonna happen

  • http://galatasaray.org madamerica

    And most seasons I enjoy the conference semis and finals just as much as the NBA Finals. Some times they are way better, like in 07.

  • http://www.basketbrasil.com.br Rubens Borges

    you want better games, cut some teams, not games

  • http://www.basketbrasil.com.br Rubens Borges

    oh, and the first round should go back to best of five format… imho

  • donovan

    Without a doubt. The NBA’s regular season is nothing more than a prolonged dog and pony show with hardly any consequential meaning for the postseason. When literally more than half the league makes the playoffs, why even have a regular season? So many games hardly mean a damn thing. Cut it down to about 70 regular-season games, and cut a few of the playoff teams out.

  • http://www.hoopsvibe.com/christopher_sells-authorHV106.html chiqo

    i can’t be bothered to read all the comments, but the playoffs should definitely be shorter. five game first round, as mentioned above, and play every other day when at all possible.

  • http://www.triplejuneartherd.com/dacre Dacre

    I thought the 50 game – lock out season was nice… It gave you enough time to prepare your team for the play offs…which is what its all about, and if your team is only going to win 20 games of an 80 game season…whats that worth to anyone…? atleast 50 games keeps it very close… Thats just me. Less games also means you can alter prices up or down accordingly…season tickets would be “affordable!”…

  • http://www.galatasaray.org madamerica

    What’s wrong with you people? Why would you want to shorten the first round back to 5 games? Aren’t you watching the Boston-Chicago series?

  • scruffz

    Riiiiiight. They should take a look at what NHL players have to go through in an 82 game season, yet they don’t grumble about shortening it. These guys have it easy compared to your average hockey player.

    What they need to do is cut all the spacing in between playoff games.

  • http://www.broy7.com nate the great

    yeah, i like the nba just the way it is.. i think we need to fix the ref situation tho.
    and player salary.
    i mean Gil should not be getting the money he is getting.. thats just crazy.

  • http://tudobola.blogspot.com/ Edu

    What I’d like to know is how guys in the nba do the math to make every team play 82 games, no matter if they are 30, like now, or 29, 27, 24…

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/officerbarbrady what

    As big of an NBA fan as I am I gotta admit around mid-March I start wondering when the hell the playoffs are going to start. An ideal NBA would be one with about 15 less regular season games, a couple of teams contracted, and good refs. But of course it’s never going to happen.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/officerbarbrady what

    But I would keep the playoffs exactly the same.

  • Leigh

    Now that they play longer playoffs (all 7 game series) it makes sense to shorten the season for the sake of players’ bodies.

  • Leigh

    Now that they play long playoff series (all best of 7) it makes sense to shorten the regular season for the sake of players’ bodies. I think comparisons could still be made between past players who played longer regular seasons.

  • http://www.basketbrasil.com.br Rubens Borges

    @madamerica cause with a 5 games first round we hav, more chance of an upset, like sonic vs denver in 94.

  • http://thenbarefsarecompletelyhorrible.com nbk

    Obviously this is not gonna happen, a contraction of teams is realistic given the economic issues, but that would not be until david stern has tried a few things. If the league could get the D-League how they plan too that will definately help, enabling players to take their time coming back from injury while still allowing teams a wealth of talent to fall back on. But a shorting of the season wont happen, its not good for anyone but the millionare athletes. All you people that “get sick” of it will be itching to have it start that much earlier.

  • jeremy

    i’m really for as many basketball games as possible. but i could also understand the players’ point of view. i mean, they play 6 months of 82 grueling games to basically just get position for the ‘real season’ which is the playoffs. and when they do get there, most teams are basically broken down already.

  • Coney Islander

    Nope! I want a 300 game season with a 60 game playoff system and you gotta have 5 days for all star festivities of course. lol

  • Revgen

    I see only 1 benefit for shorter seasons.

    Old players stay in the game longer than they should and stave off retirement.

    Part of the reason why vets retire is because it’s difficult for them to go through 82 games as they get older. However, with vets retiring, young players get their chance to shine. It’s already bad enough that teams like Phoenix are giving old players like Shaq days off on back-to-back games. While I appreciate what Shaq has done in his career, the Suns need to put their young players out there and develop them. Especially when their old center can’t play back to backs anymore. Riley knew this and that’s why he shipped Shaq out. These players make millions of dollars. When it’s time to retire, these guys need to retire. They make plenty of money to live off of for the rest of their lives. They don’t need to beg the NBA to shorten seasons so they can keep blowing away dough that they should have saved.

  • Quality not Quantity

    Like Coney Islander joked about, I’m sure a lot of people here would love to see 300 game schedules and best of 9 playoffs. Frigging junkies can’t think…

    I say reduce the season to 60-70 games. The regular season will mean more and we’ll see a lot less “cruise control” efforts as players like Shaq take entire quarters off. There will be a lot fewer meaningless games like Clippers-Memphis or Lakers-Sacramento. The big games among the elite will still be very important. The upsets will still be cool.

    I don’t care if there are 30 or 25 teams in the league. The NBA was great with 23 teams in the 80′s and is still great with 30 teams.

    Also, cut the playoffs back to five game series until the Championship and Finals Rounds where best of 7 means something instead of just another useless first round blowout.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    scruffz Posted: Apr.30 at 11:55 pm
    Riiiiiight. They should take a look at what NHL players have to go through in an 82 game season, yet they don’t grumble about shortening it. These guys have it easy compared to your average hockey player. What they need to do is cut all the spacing in between playoff games.
    Seems like they have done that this year quite well. the playoffs started two days after the season ended, and with exception to teams that sweep a round – games are going through rather quickly.