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NBA Looks to Make Changes to Season

Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe of ESPN report that the league is looking to reduce the length of the season, among other changes.

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Utah Jazz Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe reported on Saturday that the NBA is looking to make significant changes to the league calendar, including reseeding the four conference finalists, a mid-season tournament, postseason play-in games, and a reduction of the season to 78 games.

ESPN reported that changes to the calendar have been at the forefront of commissioner Adam Silver’s mind:

Commissioner Adam Silver has been driving this agenda of change -- especially the in-season tournament cup modeled after European soccer -- for years. The NBA is selling the idea of lucrative television and sponsorship revenue that would drive long-term growth and combat stagnation in a rapidly splintering consumer environment.

The league is currently working on figuring out the financials of such changes, including how such a move would change revenue for teams and how compensation would be involved for the in-season tournament:

Proposals exist that would compensate players and coaches for advancing in and winning the tournament, league sources said. Even with possible passage, the NBA has no illusions that it will get the entire league to make an immediate enthusiastic commitment to the importance of competing for an in-season tournament championship, but it does believe that would come with time and tradition.

The report said the NBA’s goal is to implement these changes for the 2021-22 anniversary season. The NBA and NBPA have been working on finding a common ground with these proposals, with meetings between the NBPA and players beginning soon:

Roberts and staff have been discussing league proposals extensively at the NBPA level and recently began bringing details of the league’s calendar proposals to the broader membership on a team-by-team basis, sources said. Roberts and union officials meet with all 30 teams over the course of each regular season. These sessions with players are starting to take shape. As a high-ranking source said, “So far, there’s been no real pushback.”

More specifics on what those changes would be can be read here.