NBA Exploring Ways to Reduce 82-Game Schedule

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Adam Silver
USA Today Sports

The National Basketball Association is looking at a number of options in an effort to potentially reduce the current 82-game schedule format.

According to ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz, representatives from league teams and the league itself have discussed potential changes to the regular season, including shortening the current 82-game schedule or adding an in-season tournament.

A 58 game season was tossed around in talks, but “the appetite among team officials for a major reduction in the number of games was limited.”

Per the report: “On a June 17 conference call, a committee that consists of approximately a dozen top team executives from both basketball and business operations discussed with the league office ideas for alternatives to the traditional NBA schedule for the 2021-22 season. In what sources characterize as a wide-ranging brainstorming session with accompanying documents, participants contemplated how the NBA could introduce the aforementioned tournaments, as well as an abbreviated slate of regular-season games to accommodate the additional events.”

The talk of a mid-season cup tournament isn’t a new idea, as NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has discussed a similar idea in the past.

“According to those with knowledge of the conversation, which sources regard as very exploratory, the proposed reforms would be adopted initially as a pilot program. The NBA would have the chance to observe the trial run and evaluate the long-term viability of such a schedule design.

Supporters of a new mid-season cup-style tournament acknowledge the difficulty of its implementation without a corresponding reduction in the number of regular-season games. For instance, trimming games off the current 82-game schedule would have vast revenue implications for teams which have commitments to local broadcast partners and rely on revenue from attendance at live games.”