I mentioned last week that National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver was contemplating changes to the season schedule. To be honest, the owners are unlikely to be in favor of any changes that reduce the number of games. With each team currently hosting 41 games, the reduction of any means the reduction of gate money.
Oh, did I forget it also means lost money on team gear, food, beverages and arena parking?
There is one way owners can recoup the lost income however and that’s to raise prices on all of the above and that worries me. Ticket prices are already preposterous and so are concession prices. It’s pretty much to the point where you need to have a kidney ready in order to pay for a round of beers.
What’s so interesting is that at a time when the National Football League is flirting with adding an extra game or two, Silver is instead looking to go into another direction. I don’t think we need to worry too much about NBA owners heading to the streets to look for hand-outs though.
I think where you’ll see things change isn’t so much with the NBA’s regular season but with its’ preseason. For years the league has pushed preseason games out of the country in an effort to drum up more support for the game. With places like China and many countries in Europe hosting NBA preseason games, the wear and tear on players has increased.
You might ask how top players are getting worn down by playing just a few minutes in meaningless preseason games but it’s the travel and time changes that take a toll. This, at a time when players are supposed to be getting ramped up for the grueling 82 game schedule.
I’m guessing that Silver will seek a reduction in preseason games and perhaps limits to out of country games as well. Regardless of his decision you can rest assured the NBA’s owners will not be losing money.
On a separate yet very connected story, injuries are all the rage in the NBA today. If you needed further evidence of why Silver wants to reduce the regular season schedule than look at the news from the league today.
Kevin Durant, who is trying to get his Oklahoma City Thunder back in the playoff race, had a medical procedure done his previously injured foot and will be re-evaluated in a week or so.
Also on the bench for the next week or two is New Orleans’ Anthony Davis who is out with a sprained shoulder suffered in Saturday night’s game against Miami. This is not the first time that Davis has missed some time this season and like many others is part of the motivation for a shortened regular season.
Last but certainly not least is Boston’s Jared Sullinger is who out for the remainder for the remainder of the season with a bad left foot. While both Sulinger’s Celtics and Davis’ Hornets aren’t exactly going anywhere related to the postseason, they do represent young stars of the league.
Adam Silver needs players like these to be on the court whether their respective teams are in the playoff hunt or not. Each time one of these young guys is out that will most definitely reduce the number of butts that were going to be in seats.
Now it could be just “one of those years” in the NBA but if Silver is concerned about it then there must be something of a real and natural concern.