Participation matters in the NBA. When star players sit out games, it hurts almost everyone involved -- the team, the fans, the networks, and even the league itself.
It's why Adam Silver has been investigating ways to increase player involvement and encourage full participation in the regular season.
“I'm not standing here saying I have a great solution," Silver said at a news conference in midtown Manhattan. "Part of the issue is injuries. One of the things we have focused on at the league office and we're spending -- we had begun to spend a lot of time on pre-pandemic -- are there things we can do in terms of sharing information, resources around the league to improve best practices, rehabilitation?"
"The other way we can get at it, in terms of player participation, is creating other incentives. The play-in tournament, I thought, was a beginning of creating renewed incentives for teams to remain competitive and be fighting for playoff position. It might be through in-season tournaments and changes in format where we can get at it."
There is certainly a lot that goes into ensuring the health of a player throughout an 82-game campaign. It's almost impossible for anybody to play all those games without suffering from some kind of injury, no matter how small. Finding a solution is no easy feat.
But after the game against the Spurs on Saturday, Warriors coach Steve Kerr offered his own take on the subject, suggesting that the NBA should shorten the number of games by 10.
“To me what makes the most sense is cutting back to maybe a 72 game schedule,” Kerr said, via Mark Haynes of ClutchPoints. “Take 10 games off, and get more time to rest in between games. I think you’ll get teams to play their guys more often.”
Silver has admitted to lowering the total of games before, but nobody knows how close it was to actually being implemented by the league.
If the NBA is serious about wanting guys available for as many games as possible, having a 72-game season could be the way to go. It will eliminate back-to-backs and allow more rest for players.
It also means fans would have to worry a lot less about who might or might not show up to a game they paid a high price for.