NBA Lockout: NBA Should Change Its Calendar

Mark AmentContributor IIOctober 31, 2011

DALLAS, TX - JUNE 07:  A detail of the finals logo is seen on an offical spandling basketball as the Dallas Mavericks host the Miami Heat in Game Four of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Center on June 7, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. 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 Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

As I was running errands this afternoon, I was listening to Bob Valvano's talk show.  He has an afternoon talk show on the local ESPN affiliate and does an overnight show for ESPN radio on the weekends. 

If you don't know Bob, he also does color commentary for ESPN during basketball season, and the occasional football game, as well as the local (Big East Network, for now) broadcast of Louisville games.  He's Jimmy V's brother and a former college head coach.

All that is by way of introduction since I want to give Bob the credit for this idea.  He proposed today that, assuming the NBA ever solves its labor problem, and more about that at a later time, it should seize this opportunity to change its calendar and start games in December and run through July, instead of the normal October through June. 

Why?  Because on the front end there is too much competition (NFL, college football, NASCAR Chase, World Series)  and no one pays attention to the relative meaningless early season and when the playoff start, there is still competition: March Madness, the Stanley Cup, the opening of baseball season, the Triple Crown, the Masters and some others. 

However, once the middle of June hits, there's nothing.  Baseball is in the middle of the season and it doesn't demand the interest of the casual fan and what else is there?  From roughly mid-June to the beginning or middle of August, there is a relative sports desert.  All we have is baseball, regular season MLS, golf, tennis and regular season NASCAR, if you will.

Even horse racing takes most of July and early August off without more than a couple of major races.  The NBA would have the field to itself.  I think the networks would love it as it would give them some high demand television in traditionally slow months.  It all makes a great deal of sense to me, which of course is why they won't do it.