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Monday, February 21, 2011

NBA expansion idea explanation

Why 62 games?
The playoffs would start next week if it were a 4 month regular season. We've nearly played 4 months of basketball and the Lakers are bored. However, I would push the season back a month to avoid going head to head with march madness (bracket madness).

A lot of people complain that 82 games is too long of a season. Too much wear-and-tear on players, teams are out of the playoff hunt too quickly with too many games left to play etc etc.

With 62 games I feel the season can be compacted to 4 months and roughly 15-16 games per month, which is the season's pace now.

I'd also like to see divisions play back-to-backs in the same city. It would eliminate travel if Miami played in Orlando Friday and Saturday night. It would better highlight divisions to have back-to-back home series.

Won't teams/players/owners make less money? Won't fans pay more for tickets?

No not necessarily. The majority of the money the NBA makes comes from tv contracts, which are in the billions now. Owners and Players split the BRI (basketball related income) and attendance is one revenue stream of many for the NBA.
You can look at the history of their tv contracts. They've exploded to $2.2 and $2.4 billion from both TNT and ABC/ESPN respectively. TNT/ESPN/ABC will still broadcast however many games they broadcast now and the NBA will still get Billions from TV.

Why the 24/16/12/6/4 breakdown?
I think the NFL season places a greater emphasis on divisions than the NBA does. 16 division games get lost among an 82 game season. In the NFL its 6 division games in a 16 game season. If you compare the percentages its NBA: 19.5% (16/82) NFL: 37.5% (6/16).

my suggestion is shorten the season from 82 to 62 games, shorten the divisions from 5 to 4 teams, increase the divisional games from 16 to 24. NBA: 39% (24/62).

At 82 games the NBA can afford to provide fairer schedules but it doesn't.  The schedule can accommodate fairer matchups. The NFL does it with a 16 game season. I'd like to see Cleveland play teams more on their level instead of getting fed to Miami Boston Orlando Lakers Spurs etc.

Why push back the All-Star Game?
It would give playoff bound teams potentially 2-weeks to heal up depending on where March 31st landed. If the season ended on a Sunday the all-star game would be on April 7th and the playoffs would begin on April 14th around the time they
usually do.

As things stand now players get 3 or 4 days off during all-star weekend and a couple of days off before the playoffs. 2 weeks of uninterrupted rest vs a couple of days rest. It could make a difference in terms of health and gameplanning. Also players can be voted into the All-Star game for a season's worth of work.

Why expand to 32 teams? Can you expand to 32 teams?
I want an NBA team in St. Louis again -- I don't think there's a city that deserves a team more.
Yes, I think the NBA can expand to 32 teams and so does David Stern however Stern wants Europe's money. He wants a 5 team division in Europe. Logistically, teams traveling to and from Europe, would be a nightmare and most players are against it.

Why move the Kings to Kansas City?
They were in Kansas City before and Sacramento is very close to San Francisco/Oakland (80 miles driving, 69 miles directly). Also Kansas City makes sense for a Midwest division. Its nothing against Sacramento. I'd also love to see a serious Lakers vs Golden State, bay area vs SoCal rivalry. That being said, I'd gladly take the Kings in St. Louis rename them and leave the name and history for Kansas City, if it means getting a team ASAP.

What about the argument of "talent dilution" or "parity"?

1. The game of basketball is growing, the NBA just signed its first television contract in India a nation of 1 billion people. There's this 7 ft 14 year old kid that they hope can make it into the NBA. If  he pans out he could do for India what Yao Ming did for China. India and China are countries with growing middle classes and more time for recreational activities like basketball.  I see more talent coming down the pipeline for the NBA.

2. There's a greater chance you can prolong careers with a shorter season. If players aren't burnt out after 10 seasons maybe they play 13. More veteran players who know how to win would be great for improving the depth of talent in the league. I love the young high flyers but its the old guys, the role players that win rings. A 20 game difference adds up, consider Kareem Abdul Jabaar:

The Captain played 20 years. 1560 games. Age 22 to 41. A 62 game season would have taken 400 games (10 games short of 5 82-game seasons) of wear and tear off the body.

3. Fairer schedules could lead to closer races different seedings, at the very least its an effort to do so.

Why go back to 12 man rosters?

Most coaches rotations are 9-10 players deep. It makes more players available for the two expansion teams. Admittedly that doesn't make the teams better and teams don't have to carry 15 players now but its more of a failsafe than anything.

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