Philadelphia 76ers general manager Daryl Morey has always been willing to go against the status quo. If he were to have his way, the NBA would look totally different in terms of its games structure going forward.
In a recent sit down with on The Colin Cowherd Podcast, Morey was vocal on how he would alter the NBA as it stands. Cowherd suggested trimming the regular season games from 82 to 74. The Sixers GM wanted to turn that suggestion up a notch.
Via The Volume:
“You’re too timid, but you gotta go farther,” Morey said. “I like 58. Every team plays every [other] team two times. The playoffs, I 100 percent agree, shorter is better.”
“I would have it one-and-done,” the Sixers GM continued. “There’s a reason everyone tunes into every game at huge ratings in the NFL. It is literally one-and-done. And the NCAA Tournament, in 63 games, gets more money than we do in our entire regular season.”
There have certainly been valid arguments as to why shortening the regular season would be good for the NBA. It's the entire reason why the concept of load management has become so prevalent within the past half decade.
Teams just aren't willing to risk playing their best players too much given how little a single game matters in the grand scheme of things, especially when dealing with a few minor injuries. A shortened season not only increased the value of each game, but also reduces injury risk in of itself.
Shortening the playoffs seems like a much more radical proposal. While it could very well drum up ratings and excitement, the tradition of how NBA postseason basketball is played is just too established to revamp at this point. Minor tweaks such as the play-in tournament have been a welcome addition, but a major overhaul could be too much, despite the potential benefits Daryl Morey's suggestion may bring.
But it's hard to deny that a winner-takes-all format with stakes higher than a 7th or 8th seed playoff berth could be ultra compelling. Just imagine Morey's Sixers, fresh from their James Harden trade, taking on the Brooklyn Nets and their new point forward Ben Simmons in a sudden death Eastern Conference title match.
You can ignore a random Game 2 in a potential playoff series, but you're not going to miss a win-or-go-home battle between the 76ers and Nets to determine who goes to the NBA Finals.
The NFL's scarcity of games is part of the reason why it draws so much viewership week on week and outdraws the NBA even with far less games. Each game is a scheduled spectacle that fans make sure to catch. That's the same magic the Daryl Morey wants to channel for the NBA.
“Any sport should want more games that are close to the Super Bowl. Nothing’s going to beat the Super Bowl for a little while, though I think the NBA can pass the NFL in my lifetime for sure for their biggest game being a big deal,” said the Sixers GM.
While such drastic changes are unlikely to happen, it's certainly an interesting proposal from Daryl Morey.