Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban wants to see the basketball season go further into summer. By 10 games to be exact.
The billionaire business man and basketball fan spoke with Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Tuesday:
I just think television has changed so that the difference in households watching television on June 12 [for the NBA Finals] vs. June 24 or 26 isn't that big, because football hasn't started yet. It's just the dog days of baseball and people are crying for sports still, and there's nothing to watch. I think spreading out will be great for the league.
What Cuban does not mention is the NHL's Stanley Cup Final, which started and ended a day before the NBA Finals in June. The NBA's popularity far outweighs the NHL in the United States, though.
Per Darren Rovell of ESPN.com, the NBA Finals averaged 19.94 million viewers compared to the Stanley Cup's 5.551 million, per David Rogers of Awful Announcing. So no matter what part of the calendar the season spans in the summer, the NBA won't have much competition.
USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt also pointed out that the league would have to move some things around—something league Commissioner Adam Silver has already considered. If the Association were to stretch the season out, it would have to push the NBA draft back, and it could impact the beginning of free agency and the collective bargaining agreement.
Cuban would like to see the amount of preseason games reduced to "five or six" in order to make this happen. It would help keep the players fresh, as they'd receive ample time to not only prepare, but rest during an elongated season.
Per CBSSports.com's James Herbert, "Cuban's idea makes sense because it will give the league a bit more room to further cut down the number of times teams have to play four games in five nights."
A new schedule like the one Cuban proposes obviously wouldn't work if tired players hit the court night in and night out only to deliver a subpar product due to exhaustion. If the league were to piece together a 92-game regular season, basketball fans could be seeing a lot more of their favorite teams and players no matter where they sit in the standings.
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