The Baltimore Orioles and the rest of MLB play 162 games a year. Traditionally, NBA teams play 82 games. But is that about to change, and should baseball fans take notice?
There’s a report out there which says that NBA commissioner Adam Silver is considering some radical changes to the NBA season in the future. In short, the regular season would be shortened to 78 games, and to compensate owners for the lack of revenue there would be a mid-season tournament involving the entire league. They also want to reseed the playoff field at a certain point, and and institute play-in games for the postseason.
Baseball’s broached the topic of shortening the regular season in the past, but they’ve never done it. However if the NBA pulls the trigger on these initiatives, expect the topic to come up again. These leagues all copy one another to a certain degree. As an example, doesn’t a play-in game sound an awful lot like an automatic elimination game? Where did they get that idea?
The part that worries me the most is the in-season tournament. While not explicitly said, I suspect that this would in essence be an exhibition. Do we really think that’s a good idea? What if someone gets hurt? A marketing gimmick could cost a team their season. Do we really want to go there?
Whether we would ever see something like that in baseball is another story. But as I said, leagues will often copy one another. My hope is that they decide against making these changes.