A bunch of high-profile NBA people came out and said the 82-game game regular season is too long on Wednesday.
Mark Cuban disagrees.
“No need to shorten the season,” the Dallas Mavericks owner told BI on Thursday. “Instead we should end participation of NBA players over 23 in international play. That will give our best, older players the rest they need.”
Dirk Nowitzki, Cuban’s star player for a decade, said 82 games is more than enough to determine the best teams in each conference, and that trimming the number of games to somewhere in the “mid-60s” would be ideal.
LeBron James said the length of the 82-game season leads to too many injuries, which hurts the product overall.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said, “I think there’s too many games, to be frank. I think if there’s some way to find a way to cut out some of the back-to-backs so there aren’t 20-plus of them.”
Trimming the season by a significant number of games would hurt the league financially, which is the main reason why most people (including Dirk) think the 82-game season isn’t going anywhere. In addition to Cuban, Hornets owner Michael Jordan came out and said the season shouldn’t be shorter, in typical MJ fashion.
Cuban’s alternative to trimming the season — keeping NBA veterans out of international tournaments like the FIBA World Cup and the Olympics — is something he has been talking about for years. In 2012 he blasted the participation of U.S. players in the Olympics, saying, “If you look up stupid in the dictionary you see a picture of the USA Dream Team playing for free for corporate America so the U.S. Olympic Committee can make billions of dollars.”
Before this summer’s FIBA World Cup, he said the NBA should start it’s own international tournament so it can control the revenue instead of the IOC, which he called “rife with corruption:”
“The [International Olympic Committee] is playing the NBA. The IOC is an organisation that has been rife with corruption, to the point where a member was accused of trying to fix an Olympic event in Salt Lake. The IOC [pulls in] billions of dollars. They make a killing and make Tony Soprano look like a saint.
“The pros in multiple sports are smart enough to not play when they are eligible free agents. But teams take on huge financial risk so that the IOC committee members can line their pockets.
“The greatest trick ever played was the IOC convincing the world that the Olympics were about patriotism and national pride instead of money. The players and owners should get together and create our own World Cup of Basketball.”
All in all, it’s probably more likely that Cuban gets his wish on the Olympics than the NBA shortens the season in a way that would satisfy the players.
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