No Future For NBA Season

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Inspite the surge in ratings and attendance, Deputy Commissioner of NBA, Adam Silver sees no future for a 66-game schedule in next season’s NBA.

“If you cut the season shorter, we cut our revenues significantly as well. Players would make less, so no, and I think it’s not optimal to play a condensed season in this fashion,” he said Thursday.

“I think both we and the players’ union recognized that going in, but it was a compromise on both our parts to maximize the amount of salary players would get this season and to have as authentic a season as possible, sufficient number of games for competitive reasons.”

The normal 82-game season wasn’t possible when owners and players couldn’t agree to a new collective bargaining agreement until Thanksgiving weekend. The sides agreed to fit in 66 games starting on Christmas, each team playing about two extra games a month.

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The result has been frequent compelling matchups and tight playoff races in both conferences with a week left in what Commissioner David Stern called a “barnburner of a season” during a meeting with Associated Press Sports Editors.

And though the compressed schedule has been taxing on players’ bodies, Stern said injuries are about at the same rate as a normal season. NBA President Joel Litvin said there were actually fewer injuries to top players – 35 this season for players who were All-Stars in the previous two years, down from 43 last season.

“I think it’s turned out OK,” Silver said, “but again, we prefer the 82-game season to the 66-game season.”

—Bamidele Olowosagba