David Stern to ‘Raise the Issue’ of Making a Shorter NBA Schedule Permanent

by May 09, 2012

The people who work closest with David Stern on a daily basis have already flatly rejected the notion of a shorter NBA regular season schedule becoming the norm for the League, but the commissioner continues to dangle that unrealistic carrot. From CBS Sports: “NBA commissioner David Stern said Tuesday he would ‘certainly look at’ making a shortened regular season beginning Christmas Day a permanent fixture, while acknowledging the financial limitations of the idea. ‘We’re going to certainly look at it and raise the issue with the owners,’ Stern said. ‘The reason you don’t make it a shorter year is because of the infrastructure that’s been built. You have all of the buildings that have been selling an 82-game schedule. You have these local TV deals. You have these network TV deals. So, we’d have to negotiate with our players to take 20 percent less every year on the salaries that they’re getting. That is a problem.’ […] Two serious impediments exist. First, whether or not the league will ever be able to prove whether the compressed schedule — with, on average, two more games per team per month — was a contributing factor to the rash of playoff injuries, player safety has to be a paramount consideration. It’s unclear whether serious knee injuries to Derrick Rose, Iman Shumpert and Baron Davis were directly related to the schedule, but there isn’t a player, coach or support staff member who would willingly sign up to do that again. Second, as Stern said, player salaries and arena leases are based on 82-game schedules. Whatever you think of a shorter schedule, it would be necessary to renegotiate on both fronts. And the last thing the NBA needs after that miserable, 149-day lockout is more negotiation. It’s impractical, too.”