The NBA and National Basketball Players Association are working on a caveat to the requirements for the major end-of-season awards, stipulating that players must appear in a certain amount of games in order to qualify for said honors.
Shams Charania of The Athletic broke the news via Twitter earlier today:
NBA, NBPA moving closer to agreement to establish rule that a player must play in a minimum number of games to be eligible for major awards as part of potential new Collective Bargaining Agreement, sources say.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 13, 2023
Full details in The Bounce at @TheAthletic: https://t.co/0BKUBNAkQr
As specified in the tweet, the new rules would be included in the upcoming collective bargaining agreement. This comes on the heels of displeasure voiced by fans and former NBA greats pertaining to the influx of ‘load management’ that has pervaded the league for the better part of the last 13 years.
More information was disseminated in the tweeted article from The Athletic by Charania and Zach Harper, shedding light on the ground-level framework that has been established thus far:
“According to sources with knowledge of both sides of the discussions, while both sides still need to come to an agreement on the number of games that players would need to play in order to qualify for awards, the two sides do agree on the concept. There’s already one precedent that the parties can point to, where a player must appear in at least 58 games to qualify for the league’s scoring title,” said
“NBA commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA executive director Tamika Tremaglio helped lead the meeting Friday, which was described as productive conversations allowing all of the league and union personnel, players, governors and team executives to align on how to aid with player fitness.”
Despite load management becoming a strategy used by much of the league, injuries have risen over the last several years. A 2021 article from Bleacher Report documented the surge in infirmities. In it, it detailed how there were more injuries recorded in the 2020-21 NBA season than ‘in any single year dating back to 2009-10.’
In accordance with the proliferation of the injury bug has been the absence of star players, which has vexed fans that purchase tickets to home games in hopes of watching their favorite players compete.
It remains to be seen how many games the league will require from its players. However, there will certainly be a corresponding rise in games played from the NBA’s elite once the CBA is finalized, as regular season awards bolster players’ chances at the Hall-of-Fame and widespread acclaim post-retirement.