The NBA wants to lighten the workload on its players. To understand why, look no further than the five injured All Stars and dozens of other high profile stars missing time with injuries that could potentially be avoided with more rest.
For the second straight year, NBA commissioner Adam Silver held a press conference in New York at NBA All Star weekend to address scheduling, player's workloads and other major issues impacting the league.
Silver said he plans to all but eliminate situations where teams play four games in five nights, something that could happen as soon as next season. Many people feel the quality of the game would improve if the NBA completely eliminated back-to-back games, something Silver said he supports. However, Silver also acknowledged the logistics of implementing that type of format would be more difficult and is a longer-term goal.
One possible way to do that would be shortening the preseason, and Silver said that's a possibility. A shorter preseason would allow the NBA to begin earlier in October and give teams more time to spread out the 82 games.
Last month, NBA owners surprised everyone when they failed to pass a reform to the lottery system that would have spread out the odds of earning a higher pick more evenly among the 14 non-playoff teams.
Silver said he still believes change is necessary and the lottery system will be addressed again during the Board of Governors meeting in April.
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The NBA keeps looking international
Although details are sparse, Silver said the NBA supports a national 3-on-3 tournament. Silver also said the NBA will play a game in South Africa on Aug. 1 made up of volunteers from around the league. This will be the first appearance for the NBA in Africa in their continued push to expand the NBA product internationally. The Knicks and Bucks played a regular season game in London last month and the preseason has seen games played in Europe, Asia and South America.
Silver shot down any idea that the NBA would do away with conferences altogether, saying he is still a "believer" in that system. However, he admitted the current system "needs a tweak."
The logistics of a league without conferences would be difficult. Silver pointed this out with a hypothetical nightmare situation where Portland and Miami played each other in the first round.