NBA legend Michael Jordan doesn’t understand why current NBA superstars LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki lobby for a shortened NBA regular season from its current 82-game schedule.
“I love both of those guy,” Jordan remarked, but added that when he competed, “If I wasn’t playing 82 games, I still would’ve been playing somewhere else because that’s the love for the game I had. As a player, I never thought 82 games was an issue.”
The NBA’s arguably greatest player, possessor of six NBA championship rings, and the principal owner of the Charlotte Hornets, explained that players have to realize that less games means less revenues for the teams and consequently lower salaries for the players. “Are they ready to give up money to play fewer games? That’s the question, because you can’t make the same amount of money playing fewer games,” Jordan asserted.
ESPN reported that on Sunday the NBA will experiment with a reduced 44-minute exhibition game between the Nets and the Celtics as part of an overall effort to ease the load on its players. The game will shave one minute per quarter in playing time. If the shortened game was established it would equate to seven less games over the course of the season.
LeBron James stated that the length of the game isn’t the problem, it the length of the season that wears down the soul of the NBA player: “It’s not the minutes, it’s the games.” James added that “The minutes doesn’t mean anything. We can play 50-minute games if we had to. It’s just the games. We all as players think it’s too many games. In our season, 82 games is a lot.”
Nowitzki recommends that regular season games be reduced to somewhere in the mid sixties, but recognizes the economic reality of modifying the season in such a manner. “I think you don’t need 82 games to determine the best eight in each conference,” he said. “That could be done a lot quicker, but I always understand that it’s about money, and every missed game means missed money for [all] parties — for the league, for the owners, for the players. I understand all that, and that’s why I don’t think it’s going to change anytime soon.”