Warriors' Steve Kerr Suggests Shortening Season to 72 Games to Avoid Resting Players

Adam WellsApril 10, 2022

CLEVELAND, OH - JANUARY 18: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors smiles while resting on the bench along side Draymond Green #23 an Klay Thompson #11 against the Cleveland Cavaliers on January 18, 2016 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Amid NBA Commissioner Adam Silver's renewed attempts to find ways to avoid having star players rest often during the regular season, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr thinks he has a solution to solve the issue.

Speaking to reporters Saturday, Kerr suggested the league cut back the regular-season schedule by 10 games.

"To me what makes the most sense is cutting back to maybe a 72-game schedule," he said. "Take 10 games off, and get more time to rest in between games. I think you'll get teams to play their guys more often."

Speaking to reporters earlier this week after a Board of Governors meeting, Silver addressed "a trend of star players not participating in a full complement of games" and his hope of working with the National Basketball Players Association to address it.

Silver did note that he doesn't have a great solution to the issue but spoke about trying to create incentives that will encourage more participation from star players throughout the entire regular season.

"The play-in tournament, I thought, was a beginning of creating renewed incentives for teams to remain competitive and be fighting for playoff position," he said. "It might be through in-season tournaments and changes in format where we can get at it."

Silver expressed optimism to Yahoo Sports' Vincent Goodwill prior to All-Star Weekend in Cleveland that an in-season tournament was "moving closer." He didn't offer specifics on how such an event might work.

In December, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the NBA and NBPA had "renewed momentum" for an in-season tournament that could potentially begin as soon as next season or in 2023-24.

The format discussed included having pool play as part of the regular-season schedule, with the top eight teams in the standings advancing to a single-elimination tournament "that would culminate prior to Christmas" and players for the winning team receiving $1 million each.

Wojnarowski noted that the regular-season schedule would be reduced from 82 to 78 games under that format.

Kerr's suggestion of a 72-game schedule, while potentially beneficial to players getting more rest, seems like it would be a non-starter for team governors because of the difference in revenue for clubs.

Per The Athletic's Bill Shea, the league lost about $800 million in 2011-12 when the regular season was cut to 66 games because of the lockout.

The NBA did play a 72-game schedule in 2020-21, but that was as a result of the league trying to fit in as many games as possible in a compressed schedule coming off the end of the previous year in the bubble.