As one of the more progressive leagues in the world, the NBA continues to explore changes to enhance the quality of its product. Altering the schedule to reduce the number of games per season is among the changes the league is exploring, Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com passes along.
All conversations are in the earliest of stages, though top executives from around the league recently had a “brainstorming session,” in which ideas on changing the schedule and adding a mid-season cup and/or postseason play-in tournament were discussed. Arnovitz suggests the talks were “very exploratory,” adding that even if changes were proposed and implemented, it wouldn’t happen before the 2021/22 season.
While “load management” issues have caused debate over the league’s 82-game schedule, Arnovitz writes that executives from teams and the league have made an economic case for shortening the number of games. Increasing the scarcity of events and ensuring that each game would be more competitive – with fewer marquee players sitting out – are among the arguments for a change.
Supporters of a schedule alteration believe that the pair of potential tournaments would also help to offset the revenue decline that comes with reducing the games on the schedule.
Arnovitz hears that there isn’t much interest in drastically cutting down the number of games. Options discussed ranged from implementing a 58-game schedule to simply cutting just a handful of contests.
The NBA would need to collectively bargain any changes to the schedule, as the CBA requires the league to make reasonable efforts to increase revenue. A reduction in games could be seen by the players as an attempt to reduce Basketball Related Income.