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NBA bargains for an improved league schedule

By Tom Long, Sports Talk Philly staff 

I'm going to start this article with several hypothetical questions: Have you ever bought tickets to a Sixers game because the Warriors were coming to town?

Or the Cavaliers?

Was it because you wanted to see some of the NBA's premier talent?

Imagine paying a premium for those tickets, only to arrive at the stadium at game time to find out Lebron, Curry, whoever, has decided to take a night off?

Yes, we have a problem.

One of the greatest coaches of all time, Greg Popovich, has popularized 'resting healthy players' during the NBA season.

Following suit, players like Lebron James, Steph Curry, and James Harden began convincing their coaches that their bodies required more rest due to the enormous strain that 38 minutes per night puts on them.

Fast forward a few years and here we are—bargaining for an extended NBA calendar year which, according to ESPN, would greatly reduce back-to-back games, single game road trips, and the number of five games in seven day stretches the teams have. 

Other significant changes include an increase in games scheduled on the weekend, particularly Saturdays.

Back-to-backs will be reduced from 16.3 per team to 14.9.

And they will eliminate all stretches of four games in five days and 18 games in 30 days.

In recent years, there has been an emerging argument that NBA players are becoming too pampered, as earlier generations of players did not have these amended schedules to help heal their bodies.

This simply shows the increasing bargaining power that the Players Association possesses.

The NBA schedule has been adjusted to combat these 'rest days' taken by big market players.

Bottom line is that when the superstars of the NBA take nights off because they need rest, it negatively impacts viewership - especially during primetime's big matchups.

Hopefully this adjusted schedule gives players the rest between games that they need in order to perform night in and night out.

 

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