Steve Kerr Says He'd Be Open to Less Pay for Reduced NBA Schedule

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 28: Head coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors looks on in the first half against the Washington Wizards at Verizon Center on February 28, 2017 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr proposed reducing the NBA regular season from 82 games to 75 Tuesday and stated he'd be willing to take a pay cut to make it happen.

Tim MacMahon of ESPN passed along comments from the reigning Coach of the Year about potential solutions for resting players in nationally televised games, a hot-button topic.

"I wouldn't be opposed to it, even at the expense to my own salary, but it's something that everyone would have to agree to," Kerr said. "I think even just going down to 75 games, I think that would make a dramatic difference in schedule. Now I don't see that happening because there is money at stake for everybody."

He added: "I do think this can be remedied, though—maybe not remedied—but I think it can be dramatically helped with what the league is already working on for next year and the consideration of geographics when it comes to the schedule."

The issue took center stage after last Saturday's game between the Los Angeles Clippers and Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs opted to sit the trio of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love for an ABC game one week after the Warriors made the same choice with their stars against the San Antonio Spurs.

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is also notorious for using this tactic.

Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, whose team benefited from the Cavaliers' absences to the tune of a comfortable 108-78 victory, stated he hated the move of resting big names "for the fans," but he said the schedule doesn't leave many alternatives, per Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com.

"We have to protect our product," Rivers said. "It's hard. It's impossible, if you actually knew what went into scheduling, but the look of back-to-back ABC national games—it's not good."

Meanwhile, ESPN's Ramona Shelburne obtained a memo from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to league owners urging them to take on a greater role in the decision-making process concerning the resting of players, calling it a "an extremely significant issue for our league."

He also said teams must give advanced "notice to the league office, their opponent and the media immediately upon a determination that a player will not participate in a game due to rest" or be prepared for "significant penalties" from the NBA.

The issue of resting players for nationally televised games is of elevated concern. In 2014, the NBA and its media partners reached an agreement on a nine-year, $24 billion contract extension, and the infusion of new money has led to salary-cap increases.

Twice during the upcoming week's national broadcasts a team will be playing as part of a back-to-back. The New York Knicks play Wednesday on ESPN and have another game Thursday, while the Oklahoma City Thunder appear on ABC on Sunday ahead of a game Monday night.

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