Why 82 games are too many?

Published: July 23, 2011

Let me start this entry off with a question. How big of a fan are you? Do you have an answer? Ok let me ask you another question. How many of the Hornets(or any team your a fan of) games do you watch every season?

Let me answer my own questions. 1st I’m a huge Hornets fans. While never a season ticket holder I frequently was at the hive. Last year I moved to Los Angeles so I can’t go to home games anymore, but I try to make it to the Staple Center to support my Hornets when I can(Lakers tickets aren’t cheap, Clippers however…. LOL). Last year I order League Pass so I could follow my Hornets. Even got the mobile app. for my Andriod phone to watch games. The point of all of this was I still was able to only watch about 50 games last season.

Even with my “fanhood” being through the roof I could only mustard about two-thirds of the season. Lets face it 82 sporting events is a lot for any sport. While no sport can touch football in this country, hoops can be a much closer second. It’s one of the few sports that televise just as well as football if not better. So why is it the NBA is operating in the red? 1st it’s dependency on stars and large market teams is it’s first problem. Hopefully with some could of firmer salary cap this issue can work itself out.

What’s the next biggest issue plauging the NBA IMO? Too much NBA. Where is the sence of urgency in November, December or January? Our very own Hornets managed an 11-0 start only to end up fighting for a playoff spot. It’s hard to make a case for regular season relevancy when 16 of 30 teams make the post season. My newly wedded wife who is a Laker fan(who for a week I didn’t speak to after this playoffs) At this point doesn’t start watching til right before the playoffs. Her point is “Why it doesn’t matter til the playoffs”. Intially I thought it was just the product of a spoiled fan of big market team making fun of a less fortunate fan of a smaller market team. While that still may be the case, she  brought up a good point and probably speaks for a large percent of casual fans. What’s the point of watching all the games when a good number of them don’t matter.

The key to more revenue it’s just more games. It’s a more popular game(or more viewers). I feel that the NBA season is watered down which severely hurts the product. The NFL just off attendance earning potential pales in comparison to a 82 game season of the NBA, but it’s profits dwarfs that of the NBA.

A reduced season would mean no back-to-back games, more practice time in season, less injuries, add longivity to players careers, gives the NBA the option to select “basketball days”, the season could start later which would mean less competing against the NFL, and maybe most importantly add a sense of urgency to the regular season.

As of now we have a league with so many yearly games that often times older teams coast throughout to stay fresh for the post season. We even see some of the better teams have mental lapses which seems to be due to plain old boredom. There is something inherently wrong with your sport if the players aren’t competing hard every game chunks of the season. Going back to an earlier example with our beloved Hornets. Imagine what a 11-0 start would mean in a 56 game schedule.

A reduced season would mean a lot of huge shake ups I think would be good for this league as a whole. All 30 teams wouldn’t play each other. Like stated early the league is to dependant on selling stars and big market teams. They should focus on rivaries. My team may not be playoff worthy this year, but I want to show up/tune in not because LeBron, Kobe, Dwight is coming to town(which can still be used as a selling tool), but because I hate the dreaded *insert rival team*. This is what makes the NFL so profitable. Parity gives most fans a reason to be optimistic about their teams and the NFL marketing gives every fan a reason to watch most games. This is what I want from the NBA. 82 games a year make this virtually impossible to reach IMO.


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