I like tradition. I want The Game to always start at noon on a Saturday. I think kids should take off school for Opening Day. But I'm also not crazy. I'm not one of those claiming the 3 point line is ruining basketball in the year 2016. I don't think the risk of concussions is the same as the risk of taking an aspirin. So as the last couple weeks of the NBA's regular season drags slowly towards its end, I've come to the realization that perhaps I too agree with the recent movement to shorten the regular season.
In the past, I frowned upon the idea of how all time records records and statistical accomplishments would be affected. The NBA's had an 82 game season since 1967. I didn't like the idea of never being able to come to an agreement when comparing today's players to the greats of the past. "Well he did this over 82 games...well if you look at his average over 64 games, he would have scored more...." And that's just a minor personal pet peeve. A more realistic concern would be to find an owner who'd be willing to lose a quarter season's worth of game revenue for the greater good.
But as I glanced at the schedule, I realized that I didn't really care. 16 of the 30 NBA teams make the playoffs. The contenders are already well solidified at this point of the season. Sure there are some fan bases in Chicago, Washington, and Dallas clamoring for their teams to make the playoffs in these last 2 and a half weeks but for what? To lose in the 1st round?
Baseball's Opening Day is less than a week away as I take stock of how hapless my team will be this year in both fantasy and real life. It strikes me as a bit ironic that as basketball fans like me chide the NBA for it's long season, generations of people over 25 are smiling wider and wider the closer it gets to Opening Day.
And that's why the NBA should strike a strategic blow. It's been reported that since 2013, the NBA has cut the gap with the MLB on average franchise value from $235 million to $43 million. The NBA is on the up and up and baseball is losing fans left and right. The tradition, like most, may very slowly be dying out. So as baseball garners it's usual excitement and attention in later March and early April, what better time than that for the NBA to start their playoffs?
Maybe a day or two after the NCAA title game and the NBA would start it's real season, the real reason fans watch all year long. The chase for a championship could surely contend with the start of a very long baseball season. That's coming from a baseball fan but one that sees where sports entertainment is going and likes to think all the sports leagues are in a no holds barred battle for eternal supremacy.