There are several problems with changing the format of the schedule, but self-described “basketball purist” Kevin Love told Business Insider his specific reasoning is more for historical value.
After a Dick’s Sporting Goods Holiday Hoops program, where Love donated two basketball hoops to an elementary school, the Cavs star told Business Insider that changing the schedule affects the history of the game.
“I always am a guy who looks back at some of the all-time greats. They went through [82 games]. When you compare — look at a guy like Kevin Durant. If he doesn’t have 82 games, will he ever be able to surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the all-time scoring list?”
This is an often overlooked part of changing the 82-game format, which has existed since the 1967-68 season. To shorten the amount of games or the length of games suddenly puts a twist on any statistical accomplishments. Comparing any generation of players would become difficult, particularly for players who would have played in both eras and seem destined for the record books like Durant or LeBron James.
Love continued: “82 games does feel like a lot of games, but we’re used to it, you know… I don’t know. Being a basketball purist — the daily grind, and the grind of 82 games, it’s just part of the game.”
While the forefront of discussions for shortening the season often comes down to decreases in revenue, Love’s point may resonate with other “purists.” The historical implications of altering the season could be just as great as the sacrificed money.
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