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Thread: Shorter NBA season? - USA Today article

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Shorter NBA season? - USA Today article

    Good article. I think at the very least they need to cut the number of preseason games from 8 to 4. Shorten training camp and preseason from 4 weeks to 3 - or maybe 2.5 weeks - and then use that week or two to help cut down on back to back games - that would help to elminate "schedule losses" where teams lose not because of the other team, but because the schedule is brutal. Sure, I would love to see the season cut back to 60-64 games - but are the players going to take a 20-25% cut in salaries - NO - or will fans pay 20-25% more for tickets - NO - or will the owners take a 20-25% cut in ticket revenie NO. So I don't see how you can decrease the number of games. I will say decreasing the number of games shouldn't lower the money paid by TNT, ESPN, ABC - but it would hurt the revenue teams get from their local radio and local TV - and of course ticket and related revenue



    http://usatoday.printthis.clickabili...partnerID=1662

    By Chris Colston, USA TODAY



    As the NBA's postseason heats up, the games continue to get more physical. In the first round, the Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard has been suspended for swinging an elbow to an opponent's face and the Chicago Bulls' Brad Miller has taken a blow to the mouth that required stitches. Several other key players are hobbling. Players log 40 — or even 50 — minutes without complaint, because these are the playoffs.
    But what price did the players pay to get here?

    The intensity of the playoffs follows a grueling 82-game regular season, one that takes its toll on players physically and mentally. And it could be a talking point in the league's collective bargaining agreement negotiations, which Commissioner David Stern says will pick up in earnest after the NBA Finals in June.

    The NBA has the option to extend the current agreement through 2012 — it would have to exercise the option by Dec. 15, 2010 — but probably will decline, in large part because of the global financial crisis. The agreement has been in place since July 2005.

    In anticipation of the crisis, the league reduced its domestic staff by 9% last fall.

    Stern has authorized a memo to all 30 teams outlining hypothetical salary-cap projections through 2011, which decline year by year. The league sets its salary cap each July based on a somewhat complicated formula that includes basketball-related income and benefits.

    CBA talking points also could include shorter contracts, a higher age limit on incoming players and elimination of the midlevel cap exception. But Stern recently said the biggest issue "is going to be about the fair division of revenues between owners and players."

    Those revenue, especially from advertisers and sponsors, will continue to take a hit because of the economy, says marketing expert Ryan Schinman, CEO of Platinum Rye Entertainment. "It's a billion-dollar-plus problem right now."

    While the players could be forced to make significant concessions on salaries, in return they might demand alterations in the schedule, including a reduction of the eight preseason games and the number of games played back to back, which this season ranged from 16 to 22 a team.

    "Owners and players have to be willing to put on the discussion table any number of things that would allow the business to continue to be successful and grow," says Los Angeles Lakers guard Derek Fisher, president of the National Basketball Players Association. "Fewer games or more games, adjustments in years or salaries ... we're going to have to be willing to negotiate.

    "The way this game has evolved into a global power, each game deserves to be the maximum of what it can be. If you consistently have key players missing games due to injuries and things that can be avoided, I think that's a fair point to discuss."

    Reduce, but at a cost

    Another major professional North American sports league also is grappling with season length. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has discussed expanding from 16 games to 17 or 18, perhaps as early as August 2011.

    While the NBA has played 82 games since the 1967-68 season, it has continued to increase the length of the postseason. In 1984, the league expanded the playoffs from 12 to 16 teams, eliminated first-round byes and extended the first-round series from three to five games. In 2003, the NBA expanded its first-round playoff series from best-of-five to best-of-seven.

    "You know I'd be lying if I said the season wasn't too long," Detroit Pistons guard Allen Iverson said before his season ended April 3 because of a back injury. "I know the year of the lockout and we only played 50 games I was a lot fresher."

    At the league level, Stern says, they do talk about schedule length. But a reduction of games would have "significant economic consequences" on team and league revenue, he says.

    And numerous business considerations also enter into the equation. "Is it good for our season to run from October to the end of June? Our sponsors and licensees would say yes," Stern says. "Is it good to be the leading sport after the NCAAs are done? I think the answer is evident.

    "And if you say June is too late for basketball, I can tell you this: Those cities in the Finals would happily play into August."

    But with the current setup, teams have to pace themselves during the regular season.

    In a story that ran in the Dec. 29 Los Angeles Times, Lakers coach Phil Jackson, whose team won its first-round series with the Utah Jazz, described the season as "a marathon race. ... We play 82 games, and then we go into playoffs, which are overextended as it is. As a consequence, we have to marshal our energy a lot during the course of the year."

    Owner Mark Cuban, whose Dallas Mavericks eliminated the San Antonio Spurs, thinks the quality of play would rise with fewer games but says it can't happen.

    "Not only is (the 82-game) schedule an economic necessity to pay for arenas, it's a competitive necessity, where every game counts," Cuban says. "I don't think lowering the number of games would make much of a difference unless you drop down to something like 25. Then you may see an amplification in value to every game. But financially it would be impossible."

    Fewer games, however, would produce big-picture benefits, according to Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey. He thinks with a shorter schedule more fans would tune in because each game would hold more gravitas.

    "The NCAA tournament, in 63 games, makes more money than the entire NBA regular season of 1,200-plus games," Morey said at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in March. "It would be hard to tell the owners you'd have to take a revenue hit, but you might get it back later because more people are tuning in."

    Shorter season, better games

    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."

    Philadelphia 76ers forward Elton Brand, who is making $13.7 million this season but missed most of it with a shoulder injury, spoke for many players when he said during the preseason, "If they cut the games by a quarter, they'll cut the salaries by a quarter. If that's the case, I'll pass."

    And some players have no problem with 82 games.

    "If we're not playing games, we're practicing," Toronto Raptors forward Shawn Marion says. "I'd rather play than practice."

    Says Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith: "I love 82. If you love the game of basketball, it shouldn't matter how many games you play."

    Back-to-back games

    It's highly unlikely the league will cut back its schedule, but nearly everyone agrees: back-to-back games are the most troubling aspect of scheduling.

    Chris Wiggins, a fan from the Washington, D.C., area, says what aggravates him most about the schedule "is the clumps of games. Some weeks a team will play five and some two. And the weeks they play five, the second game of the back-to-backs are almost like wasted games."

    Several teams struggled with back-to-backs this season.

    The Utah Jazz were 3-18 in the second of back-to-back games but 45-16 with at least one day's rest.

    The Denver Nuggets, 54-28 overall, were 9-12 in the second of back-to-backs.

    "You play a game, travel, get in at 2 or 3 in the morning, that's hard on you," says TNT analyst Charles Barkley, who played from 1985 to 2000. "My last year with the Rockets, I guarantee you, we didn't win any back-to-backs. Me, Hakeem (Olajuwon) and Clyde (Drexler) would be cooked."

    Lengthening the league calendar to cut down on back-to-backs is one idea.

    Nine-time All-Star Gary Payton, now an analyst for NBA TV, would like to see the preseason halved from eight games to four.

    "Push training camp back another week," he says.

    "Play two preseason games one week, two the next, then start the season."

    Allen likes the idea of midseason respite.

    "You know how the NFL has a bye week?" Allen says. "I'd give the league a bye week around All-Star weekend. I think it would make for better basketball because guys would be fresher."

    And that's all any fan can ask: that the NBA put its best product on the floor every night.

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    Default Re: Shorter NBA season? - USA Today article

    Teams have an easy out they don't use. It's called the bench.

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    Default Re: Shorter NBA season? - USA Today article

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Galen View Post
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    Teams have an easy out they don't use. It's called the bench.
    That would help some - but I don't see how playing the 9th, 10th and 11th best player on a teams roster would help the quality of play. I don't when I go to the game I'm not really intrerested in seeing those players. Plus coaches and teams want to win, so that is why Lebron James plays 40 mins per game

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    Default Re: Shorter NBA season? - USA Today article

    Fantastic article. I've been hoping for a shorter NBA season for years now. 82 games is just too many to sustain sufficient intensity over the entire course of the season. Especially now that the playoffs last 2 months, I'm sure everyone involved would like to get them over with a bit quicker.

    It's really good to see that there are people inside the NBA who would consider this.
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    Default Re: Shorter NBA season? - USA Today article

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    "If we're not playing games, we're practicing," Toronto Raptors forward Shawn Marion says. "I'd rather play than practice."
    Is it possible that the quality of the NBA game would increase if the teams had more time to practice?
    "A man with no belly has no appetite for life."

    - Salman Rushdie

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    Default Re: Shorter NBA season? - USA Today article

    The difference in the Jazz record is staggering. if you click on the link it shows each teams record in back to backs and how many each team played. Actually here is the link

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baske...es-cover_N.htm


    Pacers weren't bad in back to backs. They had a better record than several teams that finished above us in the standings such as Jazz, Nuggets, Sixers, Pistons. The Bulls were really good considering their overall record - same with the Nets.

    I don't see the regular season getting any shorter time wise - but 2 fewer games per month would really cut down on the back to backs. Because of other sports getting longer and longer also - the NBA is prety locked into a November through mid April for regular season - and playoffs ending in June. NFL's SuperBowl likely will be in mid to late Feb. NCAA final four is now a week later than it used to be and the World Series has been pushed back a week interferes with the start of the NBA season.

    I think the quality of play would increase if teams had more time to practice and prepare. That is one reason why the playoffs are generally so good - no back to backs and team can lock in
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 04-30-2009 at 11:04 AM.

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    Default Re: Shorter NBA season? - USA Today article

    Wouldn't it serve to reason that fewer games would likely mean more packed houses, since the opportunity to see the team would be slightly reduced? Heck, even if they just eliminated back-to-back games, that would help.

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    Default Re: Shorter NBA season? - USA Today article

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    Good article. I think at the very least they need to cut the number of preseason games from 8 to 4. Shorten training camp and preseason from 4 weeks to 3 - or maybe 2.5 weeks - and then use that week or two to help cut down on back to back games - that would help to elminate "schedule losses" ...
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    I'm only posting this because when the inevitable happens and someone says "schedule loss" I'm not going to have the link, so here goes.
    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/42509152.html

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Skiles
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    I don't worry about the back-to-backs as much. Because sometimes during the season, if you've got a really good club, and you really get in a rhythm, there are some benefits to having a back-to-back. . . . If you get on a roll, I think sometimes it can help you, if you really hit a rhythm."
    I do agree the season is too long. Sixty games would be great, but it's never going to happen.

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    Default Re: Shorter NBA season? - USA Today article

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    That would help some - but I don't see how playing the 9th, 10th and 11th best player on a teams roster would help the quality of play.
    They would if you reduced the number of teams.

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    Default Re: Shorter NBA season? - USA Today article

    Quote Originally Posted by grace View Post
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    I made it this far before I screamed and scared the crap out of my cat.



    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/42509152.html



    I do agree the season is too long. Sixty games would be great, but it's never going to happen.
    Yeah...it would cut too much revenue out. Figure $6mm per team per every 10 games reduced...and that's for a team drawing like the Pacers...It would be well over $10mm for the top drawing teams.

    And that's just gate.

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    Default Re: Shorter NBA season? - USA Today article

    They'd probably up the ticket/food prices to compensate.

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    Default Re: Shorter NBA season? - USA Today article

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    They'd probably up the ticket/food prices to compensate.
    Would they lower player salaries

    I mean, they are playing less.

    If this ever happened there would be a lot of things to work through to ever finalize it, which is why I can't see it happening.

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    Default Re: Shorter NBA season? - USA Today article

    Yeah, they should. But I bet the players union would only agree to a shorter season if the pay isn't scaled back all the way.

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    Default Re: Shorter NBA season? - USA Today article

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    That would help some - but I don't see how playing the 9th, 10th and 11th best player on a teams roster would help the quality of play. I don't when I go to the game I'm not really intrerested in seeing those players. Plus coaches and teams want to win, so that is why Lebron James plays 40 mins per game
    UB, you have answered the question of whether the NBA officials call games to keep the stars from fouling out with your above post. You steadfastly deny that the NBA doesn't manage the games so the stars play the max amount of minutes by looking the other way when they foul or commit turnovers, however you as much as admitted such with your post.

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    Default Re: Shorter NBA season? - USA Today article

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    Yeah, they should. But I bet the players union would only agree to a shorter season if the pay isn't scaled back all the way.
    I don't think they would have to. if the season is shortened by lets say 25% - and playoffs are kept the same - I don't see any reason why ESPB/ABC and TNT would lower their rights fees - they could still get the same matchups and the same number of games. And teams get a good % of their revenue from those national TV sources. So a 25% reduction in the number of games probably would only decrease revenue by 10-15%. Actually the big market and high revenue teams would lose more money than the small marklet teams from ticket sales or local tv and radio.

    But what if the lost revenue by a 25% cut in the number of games results in a 10% loss in revenue - would the players agree to a 5% acorss the board cuts - and the owners would eat the other 5%.

    I think it is doable - if this is what the next bargaining over the CBA is all about. The problem is other issues will likely get in the way and this issue will never reach the table

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    Default Re: Shorter NBA season? - USA Today article

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I don't think they would have to. if the season is shortened by lets say 25% - and playoffs are kept the same - I don't see any reason why ESPB/ABC and TNT would lower their rights fees - they could still get the same matchups and the same number of games. And teams get a good % of their revenue from those national TV sources. So a 25% reduction in the number of games probably would only decrease revenue by 10-15%. Actually the big market and high revenue teams would lose more money than the small marklet teams from ticket sales or local tv and radio.

    But what if the lost revenue by a 25% cut in the number of games results in a 10% loss in revenue - would the players agree to a 5% acorss the board cuts - and the owners would eat the other 5%.

    I think it is doable - if this is what the next bargaining over the CBA is all about. The problem is other issues will likely get in the way and this issue will never reach the table
    Wow, asking for the owners to take a 5% reduction in revanue in even good times I think would be tough to sell. In this climate? I'm not sure you will get a lot of takers.

    One thing I have always thought the NBA should do is have designated nights for their games. In other words Tuesday, Friday & Sunday should be NBA games. This would eliminate back to backs and give teams every Wednesday Thursday off for either travel or practice.

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    Default Re: Shorter NBA season? - USA Today article

    I don't see where you would have to reduce the number of games at all in the regular season and you could still eliminate most of the back to backs. The NBA plays many many games on Fri/Sat to get the most fans at the games. That's where probably 75-80% of the back to backs happen. Until the end of January they try and avoid if possible Sunday games and Monday night games so as not to compete with the NFL. It's about ticket sales. The option would be to play games Tuesday thru Saturday every other night and then give certain teams each week Wed and Fri to play. In February add Sunday to the schedule and you have 6 nights fo play and 3 games a week for everyone. Start a week earlier if you have to and eliminate 4 pre games. Not sure exactly how this math works out but it sounds good.
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    Default Re: Shorter NBA season? - USA Today article

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    Wow, asking for the owners to take a 5% reduction in revanue in even good times I think would be tough to sell. In this climate? I'm not sure you will get a lot of takers.
    This is one of the "Genie outta the bottle" issues... I think the NFL should think long and hard about that before expanding their season.

    We shouldn't be talking about shortening the NBA season because it shouldn't have grown this long in the first place. But once you've let that genie outta the bottle, how do you get him back in? Are the players going to take so much less in salary that it's worth it to shorten the season for owners(BTW, I'm surprise to see some player comments favoring a paycut)? I suspect there could be some long term average attendance gains (per game) with fewer games to choose from (and games meaning more individually), but not for any teams that sell out consistently already.

    Of course cities count on all the games to fill downtown shoppes and eateries. Cutting back games won't set well with them... Especially a meaningful cut.

    IMHO the longterm health of the sport would be better served with a shorter season.

    But when has the longterm health of any sport been the 1st goal of owner or participants?

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    Default Re: Shorter NBA season? - USA Today article

    Quote Originally Posted by aceace View Post
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    The option would be to play games Tuesday thru Saturday every other night and then give certain teams each week Wed and Fri to play. In February add Sunday to the schedule and you have 6 nights fo play and 3 games a week for everyone. Start a week earlier if you have to and eliminate 4 pre games. Not sure exactly how this math works out but it sounds good.
    I don't know the statistics, but I would bet that games during the week have lower attendance so teams would rather have their home games on Friday and Saturday nights. The problem with Thursdays is those are for nationally televised games. I suppose it would force TNT to put less popular teams on. They certainly wouldn't appreciate the lower ratings for those games.

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    Default Re: Shorter NBA season? - USA Today article

    In no way will the regular season ever be reduced unless there is another Lockout season. I don't think there is anything wrong with the 82 game season. The majority of players are still only playing basketball 7 months out of the year.

    They definitely should cut the preseason back to just 4 games and then reduce the number of back-to-back games. That's the best idea I've ever heard suggested.
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    Larry is not coming back, he didn't have a meeting with Orlando for not reason, yeah he is coming back to the NBA but not to the Pacers, the notion that he is a taking a year off and then come back is absurd.
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    Default Re: Shorter NBA season? - USA Today article

    Quote Originally Posted by naptownmenace View Post
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    In no way will the regular season ever be reduced unless there is another Lockout season. I don't think there is anything wrong with the 82 game season. The majority of players are still only playing basketball 7 months out of the year.

    They definitely should cut the preseason back to just 4 games and then reduce the number of back-to-back games. That's the best idea I've ever heard suggested.
    Agreed. That's all I have to say about this.

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