HOUSTON -- The subject of schedule length comes up periodically in the NBA, and on Monday it landed in the lap of Warriors coach Steve Kerr.
He wants to shorten it.
“I think 75 has a nice ring to it,” Kerr said, advocating a seven-game reduction from the 82-game ledger that has been the norm since the 1967-68 season.
There are a number of reasons why Kerr and others would like to see a reduced schedule, the first being the health and welfare of players.
“It feels like we play seven or eight games a year where our guys are just wiped out,” Kerr said before tipoff of Game 4 of their NBA playoff second-round series against the Rockets.
The general thought, however, is that a lighter schedule is unlikely because it would reduce revenue and also player salaries at a commensurate percentage.
Commissioner Adam Silver has mentioned the possibility several times, including last month.
“Sometimes it's science, but sometimes it's art,” Silver said after a Board of Governors meeting. “A fair point from fans could be if ultimately the science suggests that 82 games is too many games for these players, maybe you shouldn't have an 82-game season. I accept that, and that's something we'll continue to look at.”
Kerr pointed out that a 75-game schedule lends itself to an alignment in which each team would play 30 games out of conference (two games per season, as it is now), with 45 games within the conference. That likely would result in playing division opponents four times per season (a total of 16 games, as it is now), with the other 29 games coming against the 10 teams in the two other divisions within the conference.
“There’s not going to be a drastic cut, obviously, because of revenue,” Kerr said. “But if there were a way to get to 75, I’d be a big proponent.
“I understand that would mean less revenue. Salaries would come down a little bit. But the quality of play would be better, and the players would be more rested and maybe fewer injuries.”
Silver pointed out last month that any changes in the schedule would require “lots and lots of deliberation,” which is his way of saying it’s unlikely to happen in the immediate future.