clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Ideas from the offseason: Unsolicited tips to improve the NBA

New, comments

For hoop heads across the world, the month of August is about as slow as it gets. Let's chat about the NBA and see if that speeds things up a bit.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Well, we've reached August. For myself, that means pretending to care about your fantasy football team and trying to name five baseball players without the services of Google.

Yup, I'm a one trick pony. The Olympic team isn't going to help curb my NBA withdrawal; I'll watch, but honestly, I'd be more interested if they would've sent the Select Team.

Hmmmm. What else would I rather see?

By and large, Adam Silver has done a fantastic job as Commissioner since he took the title over in early 2014. Yes, the Hack-a-Dre reform needs a touch up and ads on jerseys are going to ruffle feathers (side note: get over it), but - and this is important - he's open to change, which is a characteristic that is severely underrated in such a position of power.

So, in addition to killing time via feigning interest in quarterbacks and/or shortstops, I'm going to throw a couple suggestions to Silver and see if he'll bite. Words like: impractical, unreasonable, unrealistic and the phrase "dude, that's just dumb" aren't lost on me. It's just that I don't care. I'm merely an "ideas" guy.

Schedule

Maybe my children's children will see the regular season shortened because I surely won't.  One of the biggest reasons the NFL is so popular is because it's easy to follow. There is limited guess work as to when the Lions play next - odds are, it's Sunday. As currently constructed, the NBA's schedule has no rhyme or reason to it and for the casual fan, it can be a mood killer. For the league to take the next step in popularity, there must be some sort of flow to the schedule. What I'd love to see league wide is the following:

Monday - Off Day
Tuesday - Game Day
Wednesday - Game Day
Thursday - Off Day
Friday -  Off Day
Saturday - Game Day
Sunday - Game of the Week

Established Game Days and Off Days would take a majority of the guess work out of "Hey, when do the Pistons play next?" In my schedule, there are three days per week that all teams play on. Sunday is considered the Showcase Day, similar to what they have currently in place after football season is over. Although the Showcase game(s) would be the headliner, (roughly) half the league will play on Sunday as well. This creates teams playing 3.5 games per week and keeps the regular season under six months.

Two problems with the current schedule are 1) lack of practice time and 2) lack of sleep. Both attribute to poor quality of play and injury. Having a concrete schedule in place would help - not solve - both. Establishing a practice and sleep schedule should neutralize the wear and tear of back-to-back games. Of course, it would be up to the players to spend that time wisely, but as of now, they don't have a choice.

If the NBA endeared itself to this type of scheduling, it could also institute a baseball philosophy and have teams knock out two trips into town with one. The Golden State Warriors could host the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday and Wednesday night and save needless road miles.

Breaking up the week would also give fans/media/DBB time to digest what happened on Tuesday and Wednesday and prepare for what's going to happen on the weekend. Strictly speaking in terms of league growth, it would be much better to start the season on Christmas (which I've heard before) and go further into the summer. I'll leave that for another day.

Is it perfect? No, but something's got to give. Teams sitting seemingly healthy players is not going away and it's not a good look. Usually this is directly related to rest and age. In addition, at the heart of this movement, is the increased ease with which borderline or casual fans can follow their team.

All-Star Game

In the NBA, it's the Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference with guys going 1/4 speed until the final 4 minutes when they rev the engines and bump it up to 1/2 speed. Ugh.

In an effort to drum up intensity and attention, the winner between MLB's American League and National League in their All-Star Game will hold home field advantage in the World Series. Yikes.

The NHL has tinkered with International vs. American rosters. Meh.

The NFL holds a draft in which honorary captains (former players) draft an All-Pro team. Then the two teams play tackle football. Then Twitter rips apart the Pro Bowl. Then everyone asks: Who watches this? Harrumph.

These are all gimmicks aiming to project importance into a scenario that should hold no importance. The NBA could easily follow suit and steal one of the above ideas or they could use a guideline that is unique to the game of basketball.

Age.

Young-bloods love to reach and old heads love calling them out.

The All Star Game's rosters should be divided between: Team A: 10-year veterans and over (or age 29, whatever comes first) vs Team B: Players with fewer than 10 years of experience.

During my twenties, I could never grasp how old dudes could keep the score close (and usually win) in pick-up games. I mean... they're old. Now at 34, I know exactly how they did it. In most (legit) basketball circles, the young guys are athletic and irrationally confident while the older players are grounded and savvy. It makes for some interesting player dynamics.

Talking points in the opposing locker rooms couldn't be different: Best route to the arena and Michael Keaton Batman impressions vs. millennial angst and Christian Bale Batman impressions.

The All-Star Game should never be a blood bath and going 100 percent for a full 48 is out of the question. But if you're going to force it down our throats, at least give us something to talk about.

OMG, I could do better.

Including players, coaches, ownership and all the way up to the guys wearing fancy suits at the league's front office, the entire NBA could do better (a loose term). You know who else could, too? Us.

Take a typical fan. Let's call him Tom. He's watching the Philadelphia 76ers vs. Washington Wizards. Philly is rebuilding and taking some lumps and Tom takes to Twitter to fire out a quick tweet:

"Sixers are horrible. Me and four of my boys could beat them."

Tom probably hasn't broken a sweat in 10 years but he and his gang of misfits are going to run all over the Philadelphia 76ers. Tom, shut up.

Don't get me wrong, I understand it's just a saying BUT we need a new saying.

Now, keep in mind that I'm only an "ideas" guy.

I propose the NBA creates an algorithm to detect these types of tweets, comments, blogs and the like. If Tom wants to spout that opinion, the NBA would be notified and Tom would have to walk the walk. The NBA flies Team Tom out to Philadelphia to play 5-on-5. If Tom loses, he's banned from all things social media concerning the NBA for LIFE.

I'm not sure how feasible that actually is but my point is STOP with any variation of "I could do that,"

Long story short, you can't.

What say you, DBB?