NBA season a fitting length


Alexander Aghayere

Halftime from the Sideline

By Copy Chief

The NBA season isn’t too long or too short; 82 games is just right.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has been open about extending the league’s season, which would reduce the teams’ burden of back-to-back games. That works, but only if the 82-game season remains in place with more time between each game.

Having 82 games keeps statistics functioning the same way rather than skewing numbers, making it easier to prove who the best players of all time are.

Shortening the season, which players and critics alike are arguing is the smarter alternative, would cause more damage and dysfunction to the teams and the game.

Players will be unnecessarily hasty because there will be fewer games to secure a playoff spot, which makes way for reckless actions both in practices and in games, consequently resulting in more injuries. In a season with, say, 60 games instead of 82, every player’s injury is detrimental to each team’s future success and to the prospective playoff picture.

It also means less revenue for the league as well as a longer offseason, which leaves time for players to rack up rust. It’ll take longer for them to get back to top form. It’s painful to see a player come back with so much of a sense of urgency that they put their bodies on the line for the win. Ask D. Rose fans.

Rather than shorten the season or extend it—a proposal that the league’s beat writers around the country have been unpacking since before San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich’s comment that he wouldn’t come in to work in July—the league should start earlier.

A minor problem with starting earlier is the conflict of deciding whether to watch a season opener or Major League Baseball’s World Series, as was the case Oct. 29, when the Bulls’ first game was the same day as Game 7 of the World Series.

Still, more sports are better than less, and flipping between stations is not that big of a deal considering the popularity of digital video recording systems and league-access apps. Network providers and TVs even allow viewers to watch more than one channel simultaneously, a capability that is, quite frankly, not new.

Arguing that the season being extended will make it boring is saying that the sport itself is only enjoyable in moderation, and true basketball fans would argue otherwise.

Besides, who wouldn’t want to see how many games the New York Knicks could lose in a single season? Fewer games means fewer losses, and that means fewer jokes. Sure, it might make Knicks fans feel better, but at what cost?

The league functions adequately with the current amount of games. The dysfunctional part about it is teams having to play two games in two days and then have only a day between each game for the next two weeks. It leaves teams struggling to watch game film, address their weaknesses and rest adequately between days on the court.

The problem isn’t how many games the teams play—it’s how many days they have to play them.