Only four games currently separate teams 1-10 in the NBA’s Western Conference, and the race in the East is starting to heat up as well. However, with its big brother NFL looming over its shoulder, and soon-to-be college bowl season, many sports fans, including myself, find it hard to turn into the NBA season on a daily or even sometimes weekly basis. The NBA needs to consider delaying opening day till Christmas and shorten the season to 60-65 games. I’ve tried to follow along with my Chicago Bulls as much as possible, but the pull from the thrilling 2022 NFL season and the anticipation of what is to come in the NCAA football bowl season make it very difficult for myself and many others to regularly turn into the action on the hardcourt. Not only would this benefit fans, but it would serve the players as well, whose physical and mental health take a toll from the grueling requirements of the 8-9 month season.
The NFL Season will Always Trump the First Few Months of the NBA Season
17 games versus 82. The NFL season is just over one-fifth of the length of the NBA season. This has a few implications. For one, and this isn’t something new, but the once-a-week NFL games are so much more important in terms of a teams hopes for making the playoffs versus an NBA game on a weeknight in October. Sports fans are compelled by the pressure to win and the fine line between winning and losing, which is something the NFL gives its fans on a week-by-week basis. With so many games in the NBA regular season, it’s hard for most sports fans to feel the thrill of a must-win game until much later in the season, with real importance and brewing storylines beginning to blossom around the Christmas day games.
Players a Shorter Schedule to be Healthier
I’m sure not a single NBA player would be opposed to playing 20-25 less games each season. It has to be a difficult battle to stay in charge of one’s physical and mental health over the course of 82 games, traveling from city to city, and at times playing up to 3 or even 4 games a week. The NBA has done a better job as of late when it comes to teams playing back-to-back nights, but more improvement is needed. In addition to all the reasons listed prior, fewer regular season games would lead to more competitive games during the regular season, and more players would be closer to 100% when the playoffs roll around in April. It’s time for Adam Silver and the NBA to do what’s right and make a change to the drawn-out regular season.