Legend has it that the late liberal MP David Penhaligon first coined the phrase “Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas” in response to a mooted Liberal / Labour party pact back in 1977. As we slog towards the NBA Christmas games, the relentless grind, stress and physical strain of the regular season starts to catch up on players, coaches, media and fans alike. 82 games in a season in too many, that’s just a fact. Would the games or season be any less enjoyable if each team played just 66 games instead?
The argument against reducing the Baseball season from 162 games has always been shot down by those protective of the records books and milestones of the sport which are essentially counting stats. The NBA doesn’t really have the same issue as the records that count as essentially per game totals. Wouldn’t we rather see our hall of fame players play another couple of seasons instead being shot by their late twenties after being forced to play an insane amount of minutes each year by Tom Thibodeau? (Luol Deng, Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose).
Say each team played every team in the opposing conference twice (once at home & once away) to total 30 games. Then each team would play the other 14 teams in their own conference twice (once at home & once away) to bring the total to 58 games. Lastly, each team would play the other four teams in their division two more times (one at home & once away) to bring the regular season total to 66 games. The season is only 16 games shorter and helps limit player injuries and fan boredom, without altering the play-off seedings in a major way. Are you telling me the conference standings look noticeably different after 66 games than they do after 82?
Adam Silver has shown he wants improve player health by eliminating the 3 games in 4 night scenarios and by reducing the pre season to cut down on the number of back to back games. He also likes improving the leagues owners revenue though as seen by the jersey patches and backing of the New Jersey gambling case. The prospect of him convincing NBA owners to cut their number of pay days from 41 to 33 seems unlikely. After all “Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas”.
Again we aim to be your guide to watching the NBA in the UK