Adam Silver has proven to be very aggressive in making changes to better and further the NBA since taking over as commissioner in 2014.
From getting rid of the title of “owner” for each team, to making strides in allowing players to come to the NBA straight out of high school, Silver is working hard to fix problems within the game. Maybe even a little too hard.
His proposed efforts to curb player injury and resting players would harm the game more than it would help.
For a while now, resting players to avoid injury has been a huge topic in the NBA. While we want to see the best players every single game, it can’t be expected they will be able to endure 82 games every year. Kawhi Leonard even said he would not have been physically able to lead the Toronto Raptors to the NBA Finals if not for his load management. So that begs the question, how should the NBA go about addressing this?
Silver has been hinting at the idea of shortening the regular season for a while now and recently announced that these changes could be put into place as early as the 2021-22 season. The magic number so far has been set at 58 games with plans to include some sort of midseason cup.
While resting players and injuries desperately needs to be addressed, the idea of shortening the regular season is hasty and would be a huge mistake. The logistical problems this plan causes severely outweighs the benefits of such a change, and resting players can be easily solved if the NBA regulates when players can and cannot rest.
Shortening the season would mean less revenue coming in through ticket sales, and new television contracts would have to be worked out as the league is producing less televised content. This would be horrible for the game as a whole, not to mention the awful idea of trying to increase viewership with some sort of midseason cup.
Toward the middle of the season, it’s pretty easy to tell which teams will be contenders, and these teams begin resting their players to avoid injury. Frustration from fans is understandable. They pay to see the best players. However, I’d rather see almost everyone healthy come playoff time than see them get hurt in meaningless games in February.
Resting players is not a problem if done right. At the end of the day, the NBA is in a great spot, and this is reflected in the astronomically big contracts players are now signing. Why take a chance at messing that up? Shortening the season would do just that, and the solution is as simple as regulating players rest but still allowing it.
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