NBA Commissioner Adam Silver didn't immediately reject the idea of shortening the regular season from 82 games.
"I'm not against changing the format of the season," he told reporters ahead of Thursday's Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Finals. He said that was the case "if it can have a direct impact on injuries," which he wasn't sure would be the case.
Injuries have been a concern throughout the playoffs with Ja Morant, Khris Middleton and Devin Booker, among others, missing time.
The Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors have not been immune to physical setbacks during their trip to the NBA Finals. Robert Williams III and Marcus Smart have been in and out of the lineup for Boston, while Gary Payton II, Otto Porter Jr. and Andre Iguodala have missed time for Golden State.
Silver was also asked about potentially playing a midseason tournament, which is a topic he has addressed a number of times in the past.
"We're not there yet," he said while explaining there are still ongoing talks with the competition committee, board of governors and players union.
That echoes the commissioner's stance before the 2021-22 campaign when he said there is still a "fair amount of work" for the midseason tournament to happen. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported in May 2021 that Silver was more optimistic about the idea of such a tournament in the aftermath of the success of the play-in tournament format for the bottom playoff seeds.
While none of these changes are guaranteed to happen, it is notable the commissioner is even considering them.
It suggests the current scheduling format is anything but set in stone, and shortening the season would likely allow players more opportunities to rest with fewer back-to-back games. That, in turn, could help curb concerns about star players sitting out nationally broadcasted games or contests on the road when many of the fans are in attendance to see them.
Discussions will surely continue, but Silver evidently is open to the idea of a shorter season.