Adam Silver: NBA May 'Revisit' Shortening Regular Season Due to Load Management

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 9, 2019

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks during the NBA All-Star festivities, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019, in Charlotte, N.C. The 68th All-Star game will be played Sunday. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Gerry Broome/Associated Press

The NBA could reduce the number of games in a season based on the recent trend of star players taking extra rest.

Commissioner Adam Silver said Thursday the league might look at this idea in the future.

"If legitimate resting of players resulted in them being healthier for the playoffs, healthier longer, able to continue their careers longer, I think we'd be in favor of it," Silver explained to The Economic Club of Washington, D.C. (h/t Sopan Deb of the New York Times).   

"We may need to revisit the number of games in the season," he continued. "Because maybe in the modern NBA, we’ve had an 82 game season for roughly 50 years. And maybe it’s too many games on the player’s bodies."

The NBA has been opposed to players sitting out games while healthy, adding rules that allow the league to fine teams at least $100,000 if a star doesn't play for a nationally televised game.

Several lottery-bound squads ended the year with their biggest stars on the bench and had the excuse of "load management," including Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James and New Orleans Pelicans center Anthony Davis.

On the other hand, resting players for the postseason could prove to be a valuable strategy.

Kawhi Leonard only appeared in 60 games this season, which wasn't a problem for the Toronto Raptors, who easily made the playoffs and earned the No. 2 seed.

The rest has seemingly paid off, as the forward is averaging 31.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game in 10 contests this postseason.

If more teams follow this strategy, it could lead to less interest in the regular season. The NBA's response could be to shorten the season and create more importance in each game.