By Daniel Healey
236,160 seconds, 3936 minutes, 65.6 hours: this is how much regular season game time there is in an NBA season. The NBA season runs from late October to mid April. NBA players are the best in their profession, and the stars of the league are expected to play a large majority of the games in an NBA season. The NBA needs to rethink their current season length for the sake of their players’ health and pleasing the fans as a result of that.
The NBA’s economic well-being should not be the only factor in deciding how many games are in a season. The players’ health and fatigue should be the key factor in this decision.
If the NBA did not play as long of a season, the economic status of the NBA would be drastically different. Richard Sandomir of the New York Times has something to say about this.
“Shortening the season would certainly have an effect on N.B.A. economics. Arenas accustomed to booking 41 games a year would be hurt…the local and national television networks would clamor to pay less…”
In a 2014 interview with the Guardian, Lebron James says of the length of the NBA season: “Eighty-two games are a lot.” He goes on to say that it’s not the minutes that hurt them, it is the number of games. They can play long games; it’s how they feel after the games.
So far, out of the 63 games played this season, James has missed 11. At the Indiana Pacers game on February 27th, 2015, fans showed up in Indianapolis to see King James play. What people didn’t know until they got to the arena was that James wasn’t going to play that night.
This is something that NBA needs to look at: their superstars missing a game due to fatigue and injury. Fans spend their money, sometime when money is tight, to buy tickets for the game and purchase superstars’ jerseys.
Thousands upon thousands of dollars are spent to see famous players that don’t even make an appearance in the arena. Though these spending sprees for people made the NBA a little bit richer, should economic well-being be put above fans’ happiness? If the NBA were to play 11 fewer games this season, than James would’ve been able to play a large majority of the remaining games.
In 2012, the San Antonio Spurs rested their three most popular players from the rest of their road trip in order to protect their health. They did this without the knowledge of former NBA Commissioner David Stern and the teams they were playing against. Stern fined the Spurs 250,000 dollars. With an interview with the Associated Press, Stern called out the Spurs saying they “did a disservice to the league and our fans.” It should be restated that the Spurs rested these plays because of their health and fatigue.
In order to make the NBA a more popular sport for the fans, the NBA needs to stop thinking about their bank account and more about the health of their players in order for the players can participate in more games for the fans.
Image Source: http://www.bucyrustelegraphforum.com/story/sports/nba/2015/01/12/lebron-james-injury-gives-cavaliers-excuse-answer/21627601/