NBA Exploring Shorter Schedule (Good Idea) to Accommodate In-Season Tournament (Bad Idea)

The NBA is taking a prefatory look at some scheduling and competition changes that wouldn’t go into effect until the 2021-2022 season. Early days, this topic, but interesting nonetheless.

ESPN says two of the specific ideas being discussed are a reduction in the regular season schedule and the possibility of doing an in-season cup-style tournament, or something along those lines.

Writes Kevin Arnovitz:

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.

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.

The number of games in a reduced regular season discussed on the conference call ranged from 58 — ensuring every team would host each of the 29 other teams in their arenas over the course of a season — to a marginal cut of only a handful of games. According to sources on the call, the appetite among team officials for a major reduction in the number of games was limited.

Well of course a “major reduction” in games isn’t gonna fly, since people would lose money. And as you know, it’s about the almighty dollar, our Lord God money. NBA owners, excuse me, “governors,” are raking in the cash for 41 games of home court attendance (plus playoffs) even as Kawhi Leonard, Joel Embiid, and other superstars are regularly sitting out games due to load management or various other reasons.

So my take on this whole thing is that I’d prefer a schedule that completely eliminates back-to-backs. That’s what’s killing the NBA, these short turnaround games that put players at risk by asking them to get on a plane, fly to another city, and play another 25-35 minutes just 24 hours after their previous game. We really do not need that Saturday night November road game in Memphis after the Sixers just played the Pacers at home on Friday night. It’s too much basketball.

Reducing the schedule to 58 isn’t doable because the rich “governors” would complain about lost revenue. BUT – I love the idea of playing each team home and away in a single season, vs. four fucking games with the Charlotte Hornets that nobody needs or wants.

What I would do is EXPAND THE NBA to 34 or 36 teams, have prospective new “governors” pay a one-time expansion fee, and possibly, maybe, disburse some of that money to current owners as a one-time payment for lost home game revenue. Then we play a 66 or 70 game schedule in which the Sixers, for instance, would play every team at home once, and every team on the road once.

Possible expansion cities:

  • Seattle
  • St. Louis or Kansas City
  • Vancouver
  • Vegas
  • Cincy or Columbus
  • Baltimore
  • Nashville
  • Shitsburgh
  • etc

All of those cities already have pro teams and could support NBA squads.

Basically what you’d be looking at is something like an 18-team Eastern Conference and an 18-team Western Conference, so you’d play the other 35 NBA teams both home and away, resulting in a balanced 70-game schedule that cuts the regular season down by 12 games, amounting to about two weeks. Or, you just keep the season length as it is and space out the games a bit more to avoid back-to-backs.

It’s a fool-proof plan, and while we’re at it, let’s extend it to the NHL, the removal of back-to-backs, because I don’t need 17 of those on the Flyers’ schedule this year. It’s outrageous.

As for the in-season tournament or cup, I just don’t see that being a thing. Teams wouldn’t care, wouldn’t prioritize it, and would likely rest their superstars for the playoff push anyway, right? You see this in soccer a lot, where squads like Manchester City and Chelsea use second stringers for the early rounds of the domestic cup while concentrating on league performances.

But again, none of this will ever happen, because it’s all about money:


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23 Responses

  1. but does kinker think MLB should put up nets around the outfield seats as well as those in foul territory?

  2. 34 or 36 NBA teams? Hard pass. There’s just not enough talent to go around. There were like 5 or 6 completely unwatchable teams this past year, and that will only get worse if you add 6 more via expansion.

  3. Kinker….Shitsburgh….really? Weak!
    I love 7th grade humor but come on. Pittsburgh & Philadelphia benefit from each other in many ways and I have lived in both places.

    I don’t know if the NBA would fly in Pittsburgh, would like to see it attempted. Seattle should be #1 on list.

  4. I had to turn off the Phillies game the last two nights and it wasn’t because of the team. Jim Rollins has no business being in the booth. Can someone tell him to shut up when the pitcher is winding up. See Ben Davis’s face when Jim was dancing in the booth? As if baseball wasn’t bad enough, it just got worse.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. He doesn’t even follow the fucking game. Shut up and comment on the game, Jimmy. And tone down the ummm ahhh

      1. you guys sound racist complaining about the colored commentator that doesn’t even realize a baseball game is on and harasses Ben Davis to make bets with him and to “upgrade” his betting predictions at least 3 times every time the Phillies are at the plate. Nothing screams Philadelphia media entertainment like the black ex aFFalete that cannot speak the language properly.

  5. Rollins fucking blows offers nothing to the broadcast. It’s bad enough with Ben boring. And bald fat boy. It is the worst.

  6. Kyle: “I was on vacation and realized I was out of propane. We had a family party planned for when we got back from the shore and there was no way I was going to have time to lug my tank to a store. I hopped onto Cynch‘s site, entered the Crossing Broad promo code ‘ItsLit5’, and had the tank delivered while I was sitting on the beach. It was great.”

    1. Gotta love the hypocrisy of kinker making fun of the nba owners and their unwillingness to lose money while Kyle and crew are pimping some ludicrous propane delivery company

  7. Maybe we can combine Rollins’s cringy comments with CB’s cringy promotion. Y’all should cater a BBQ and serve filet mignon, center cut. But I’ll take the articles a little more well done.

    1. Oh and on that note the NBA needs to contract by at least 1/3 if not half. Not have more teams. Either that or stop the superstar call bs.

  8. Love Kinckers opinion on anything. The guys been nothing but a fuckin rabbits foot for Kyle. CB went from a 1million dollar company to a 7 million dollar company. Kink needs a raise. He is the main reason for CB’s successful year.

  9. The NBA needs to work with teams in Europe and Spain and somehow come up with a Champions League type league March Madness style.

  10. Another great idea is cocaine at the white dog cafe in Wayne…. Me and divorcee partied tonight there but I couldn’t close

  11. You have to cut the schedule (don’t even get me started on baseball) in the NBA. You could make that money back tommorow; stop throwing money in that sinkhole called the WNBA. Let them fall (again) or fly on their own. You sell shit product, people pay shit money. As far as expansion – Seattle is the only deserving one. The yinzers were offended by the shitsburg crack. That’s actually mild.

  12. “It’s a fool-proof plan”

    Yeah! Because the Vancouver Grizzlies have been killing it in attendance for 20+ years.

    C’mon Kink, people don’t show up for the bottom 8 teams around the league when they suck as it is. Who’s going to show up for the bottom 14 with your lousy expansion in such bustling cities as, let me check my notes, oh… Vancouver again, yeah I guess that can’t fail twice. Ohhh Cincinnati or Columbus! They can catch all of the free agents that Cleveland has to turn away I guess! St. Louis or Kansas City? St. Louis couldn’t even show up for a football team and theyre going to hold up an NBA squad?

    The only thing expansion would do is keep TJ McConnell employable.

    1. There are many reasons, like more money and different demographics, why Vancouver makes more sense now than it did 25 years ago. And even then, with a better owner, no draft disadvantagement, and no Steve Francis shenanigans, I think original Vancouver as it was could’ve been fine in the long haul. Columbus is a hotbed for fake basketball ie college, so you may be right on that one.

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