However, they don’t think the amount of minutes is the problem. They believe there’s simply too many games on the schedule. On Wednesday, both King James and Nowitzki advocated for an NBA season shorter than the current 82 games.
"It's not the minutes, it's the games," James told ESPN. "The minutes doesn't mean anything. We can play 50-minute games if we had to. It's just the games. We all as players think it's too many games. In our season, 82 games is a lot. But it's not the minutes. Taking away minutes from the game is not going to shorten the game at all.
“So it's not lessening the minutes,” James added, “I think it's the games."
Nowitzki agrees, telling ESPN, "I think you don't need 82 games to determine the best eight [teams] in each conference." The Dallas Mavericks veteran also suggested that the current season be shortened from 82 games to somewhere in the range of the “mid-60s,” especially scaling back or even eliminating grueling back-to-back stretches that include flying between games.
Whether owners would ever agree to a shortened reason, and the loss of revenue (lower ticket sales, concessions, merchandise) that will likely come with it, remains to be seen. However, James says, “At the end of the day, we want to protect the prize and the prize is the players." King James also added that injuries to players because of too many games will hinder the league’s ability to properly promote the game.
Would you be in favor of a shortened NBA season?
BET Sports News - Get the latest news and information about African-Americans in sports including weekly recaps, celebrity news and photos of your favorite Black athletes. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
(Photos from left: Buda Mendes/Getty Images, Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)