Welcome to your Weekly NBA Fix for July 26, as free agency winds down and teams—and the NBA itself—start looking at the details for 2014-15.
One of those details is reportedly a schedule that would include a week-long break for the All-Star Game in February, up from the five days it has been in recent years.
According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the NBA is currently working on a 2014-15 scheduling model that includes a full seven-day break for the All-Star Game.
One of the repercussions for such a break would be that the NBA, which has been trying to reduce the number of scheduled back-to-backs in recent years, would add a set of back-to-back games for each team.
But it’s an idea high-profile players, such as LeBron James, have been lobbying the league to implement for awhile.
“That’s something I’ve heard directly from the players on,” commissioner Adam Silver said in February. “They’re saying that if we, if they, could get a few more days off around All-Star—especially the All-Stars, I think, who, as we all know, are so busy over the course of these frew days—it would be helpful to them to get some additional rest.
“Of course our season is so concentrated right now, that will require us to push back the season a few days. So we’ll continue to look at it. It’s an awfully long season right now. So I’m not sure we want to go too much longer. But we’ll look at it.”
The 2014-15 NBA regular season is scheduled to start Oct. 28 and end April 15, with the playoffs opening April 18.
But with the way All-Star Weekend has grown into a three-day affair, with the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday, the skills competitions on Saturday and the game on Sunday night, the commitments for the All-Stars have grown in scope.
Throw in that one of the five days is spent traveling to the All-Star venue and the other is a mandatory return to practice and you can see why All-Star Game participants feel like they’re not getting a break at all … because, well, they’re not.
I’m sure there will be some of the familiar noises from fans (Theez guyz mak awl dat cash and b**ch bout rest?), but it’s better for the league if its star attractions aren’t completely burned to a crisp by March.
The elongated break means the NBA might look at starting the 2015-16 season a week earlier. Such a move would require an amendment to the collective bargaining agreement and would also have to work around dates that have already been locked into the 2015 preseason schedule.
If a longer break can improve the quality of play for the stars, then I’m all in favor. If a longer break gives them more time to make the Slam Dunk Contest less lame than it has been recently, so much the better.
Here’s a division-by-division look at what’s making news around the NBA this week: