NBA commissioner Adam Silver hasn’t really done anything to change the product on the court, but he clearly has some ideas.
For one, Silver seems to like the idea of an in-season tournament, mentioning the possibility of on multiple occasions. He also recently discussed the concept of shortening the regular season from its current format of 82 games per team.
Both propositions have received mixed reviews, but in an interview with Yahoo Sports’ Vincent Goodwill, Silver implied it would all be for the good of the game (and without a doubt, to help generate some extra revenue).
“I recognize that could always be a concern that people might take that from what I’ve said, I’m at least trying to send the opposite message,” Silver told Goodwill. “But I want to make sure people understand just like any other business, we’re constantly thinking about innovation. And we’re listening to our fans.”
The NBA has played an 82 regular-season since 1967-68. Since then, a lot has changed.
Teams now fly on private jets. Full meals are offered in locker rooms before and after games. Teams have lavish practice facilities, separate from their own arenas. Players make a lot more money.
So generating revenue is of utmost importance to keep things churning as they are. That is why Silver is suggesting new ways to be, as he puts it, innovative.
“The last thing I’m trying to suggest is that we don’t value our current regular season, it’s enormously valuable,” Silver told Goodwill. “These teams care a lot about home-court advantage, and people can’t get enough of NBA basketball.”
He later added, “If we did make modifications in the schedule, we’d always ensure that every team played each other at least once. I think that’s critically important. Everybody wants to see, even if it’s a cross-country trip, that wherever that player is on that team that plays in the other conference, they should have the opportunity to see that player at least once.”
That leads us to load management, or players sitting out for the purpose of “rest.” No one is a fan of this, it seems, but perhaps the teams and their many medical professionals. Yet it is the players and fans who suffer. Would shortening the regular season curtail such decisions?
“The fact that teams are focused on load management and players are resting, that sends a message in its own right,” Silver told Goodwill. “And I’m saying we’re paying attention to that, and want to make sure that the number of games we’re playing isn’t just a result of the fact that that’s what we’ve been doing for 50 years.”
You can check out Silver’s full take in the exclusive interview by Goodwill at this link.