Thursday, August 13, 2009

The NBA Needs Me

It is not yet widely acknowledged, but the NBA and its commissioner, David Stern, need me. They need me to correct their misbegotten ways and save them from public scorn and financial ruin into which they are flying headlong.

The trouble, for present purposes, is the length of the regular season schedule, which is currently 82 games. A season of this length all but invites players, coaches, and entire teams to take nights off and experience "ghost" injuries because, too often, especially early in the season, any night's game, being only slightly over 1% of the total, just doesn't matter.

The solution is a shorter regular season, and I propose the following:

  • Each team plays each other team in the same conference three times. Home court advantage rotates from year to year. With 15 teams in each conference, this translates to 42 games (14 opponents x 3 games).
  • Each team plays each team of the other conference one time per season, with home court advantage rotating from year to year. This adds another 15 games (15 opponents x 1 games), for a grand total of 57 games. 57 is still arguably too many, but it's better than 82, and for reasons explained below, each individual game does increase in importance.
  • Divisions within conferences are abolished. That's right, I said abolished! In each conference, the top eight finishers, ranked by regular season record, go to the playoffs. The rest join the LA Clippers in the draft lottery.
  • Since each head-to-head rivalry occurs either once or thrice, any ties in regular season record are settled on the floor. How quaint! How unlike college football's execrable BCS system!
  • Referees caught cheating are executed imaginatively in a televised pay-per-view ceremony by a carefully selected group of the 100 meanest, most frightening fans of the Detroit Pistons, Philadelphia 76ers, San Antonio Spurs (permanent members) together with fans of any teams know to have been cheated by the referee in question. This has nothing to do with schedules, but everything to do with ginning up fan interest and assuring the integrity of the game.
I am happy to help, but that's not to say I don't insist on a finder's fee for these extremely helpful suggestions.

(via Rust Belt Philosophy)

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