Ahh, the question that has been asked for years. With many different ways and angles to approach the question, obviously you’re going to get a diversified plethora of answers to it. In my humble opinion, yes, the NBA season should be shortened. To what extent has yet to be agreed upon throughout the basketball world, but I think that it should be shortened by 12 games, putting the total number of regular season games at 70.
This isn’t a hard question to answer honestly. The reason we should shorten the season is because of player health, player performance, and player longevity. Many players have been quoted as saying that the season should be shorter in order to decrease player wear, and benefit the fans. Fans come to games to watch their favorite team or player play, and a lot of the time, the fans only come to the games once or twice every few years. When they’re favorite player sits because of rest, the fans ticket that they bought to attend the game just became less valuable to them.
Health wise, a shorter season decreases the chance of players getting physically injured, and decreases the amount of back-to-backs that the organizations have to play in. Mental health plays a big part in it too. A lot of the time, mental health is looked over and disregarded as an important part of the game. “Oh they’re making tons of money playing a game, they have it good.” Yeah sure, they’re making a lot of money, but money isn’t everything, and honestly, without being in a stable and healthy state of mind, a person wouldn’t be able to enjoy that money. Most of the time, if a player is in the right state of mind, their performance will follow that.
Player performance is a big part of this, because the NBA doesn’t make any money if the players aren’t playing at their best and being the best basketball league in the world. Shortened seasons mean less fatigue, meaning the players will be more fresh to play at their utmost potential night in and night out. What’s the point of being the most popular basketball league in the world, if your players aren’t playing like it? More rest equals better preparation, equals, better performance. It’s as easy as that.
Finally, player longevity will be affected by the shortened season because if they cut down the amount of games, the players won’t have as much wear and tear on their bodies and will be able to play longer. If a veteran player player played 12 years, at 82 games a year, that’s 984 games. If it were shortened to 70 games, that puts the number of total games at 840. That’s 144 games, or two seasons worth of the shortened season, to continue your career. Honestly, it seems more and more to me that this should make sense to anyone.
With this topic continually being tossed around the league, it should eventually find traction at some point and become more relevant and more talked about. The timetable on it can’t be determined obviously, because it hasn’t even been proposed yet, but eventually it should happen. The NBA will, hopefully soon, reap the benefits of shortening the season.