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Adam Silver thinking of making season shorter, intrigued by idea of mid-season tournament

Adam Silver

The growing number of detractors of the NBA’s staunch adherence to an 82-game regular season received some very encouraging news on Friday. During a press conference on the eve of the playoffs, commissioner Adam Silver suggested he would be open to shortening the season if doing so is ultimately what’s best for players and fans, stressing that the league will  never stop examining ways to improve its product.

“The format we have in place now — I’m a traditionalist on one hand, but on the other hand it’s 50 years old or so, presenting an 82-game season, and there’s nothing magical about it,” he said, per the Associated Press.

“I think a fair point from fans could be if ultimately the science suggests that 82 games is too many games for these players, maybe you shouldn’t have an 82-game season,” Silver continued. “I accept that, and that’s something we’ll continue to look at.”

A loss of revenue due to fewer games being played is the chief reason proponents of the 82-game model use to justify maintaining the status quo. Silver, though, already has ideas in place to mitigate that negative effect should the regular season ultimately be shortened.

“That’s why I’m particularly interested in looking at different kinds of formats — at midseason tournaments, for example, play-in tournaments — because even accepting that players have so many miles on their bodies, there may be better ways to present it,” he said. “Assuming guys are going to play 82 games, maybe there should be a certain number of games in the regular season and then there should be two tournaments throughout the season.”

Silver has ove seen a number of prominent changes to NBA rules since taking over as commissioner in 2014, most notable of which is draft lottery reform, in place for the first time this year.