Warriors coach Steve Kerr suggests moving to 72-game schedule to tackle player rest problem
Earlier this week, NBA commissioner Adam Silver spoke to reporters at a press conference after meetings of the league’s board of governors. He touched on a number of topics, but perhaps the most notable was the “tendency of star gamers not participating in a full range of games”.
“I’m not here to say I have a great solution,” Silver said. “Part of the problem is injuries. One of the things we’ve been focusing on at the league office and spending – we had started spending a lot of time on pre-pandemic – is there Are there things we can do in terms of sharing information, resources around the league to improve best practices, rehabilitation, et cetera?
“The other way to do that, in terms of player participation, is to create other incentives,” Silver continued. “I mean, maybe it’s – the play-in tournament that I thought was a start of creating new incentives for teams to stay competitive and fight for playoff position. It can be through in-season tournaments and format changes where we can go for it.”
Striking a balance between keeping players healthy and putting the best possible product on the floor night after night has been one of Silver’s main goals during his tenure. This isn’t the first time he’s broached the subject, and it won’t be the last.
On Saturday, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr chimed in and echoed a suggestion many fans and members of the media have floated: shorten the season.
“For me, perhaps what makes the most sense is going back to a 72-game schedule,” Kerr said. “Take 10 games off and get more time to rest between games. I think you’ll inspire teams to face their guys more often.”
Reducing the number of matches would help keep players healthy, make each match more meaningful and competitive, and reduce the likelihood of players missing out. The obvious opposite to the idea, however, is that owners won’t want to get rid of home games and dates for their arenas, nor will anyone want to take a pay cut.
At this point, it’s worth noting that Silver himself brought up the possibility and didn’t completely rule it out.
“I’ve also said in the past, if we have too many games, that’s something we should look at as well,” Silver said. “That’s something, as we sit down and look at new media deals and look at a new collective bargaining agreement, we’re going to study.”
Again, the potential monetary issues created by the reduction of certain games could be a real sticking point. But if any coaches are on board and the commissioner wants to have a chat, that seems like a possibility and something to watch out for later.