Rockets general manager Daryl Morey appeared on ESPN's "Mike & Mike" Monday morning and offered up a pretty dramatic proposal for the NBA. He believes in shortening the regular season, and even playoff series — to a significant extent.
Right now teams play 82 regular-season games and a best-of-seven format in the playoffs. Morey's idea is to drastically shorten the regular season and then go to a single-game elimination in the postseason to drive interest.
Here's how he responded when asked how much change could go into shortening the season:
“I think it can be quite a bit dramatic, along with shortening playoff series. I don’t think there’s a magic number, I think what you need to do is shorten it to up the interest. I think it could go as low as 30 to 40 and shortening playoff series to 1 to 3. I mean, when you say shorten the playoff series to one game people go, ‘Oh my gosh that’s crazy!’ But you look at the NCAA Tournament and 63 games makes massive amounts of television money compared to our (about) 1,250 regular season games. They make more in those 63 games than we make in 1,250 games."
The heart of Morey's pitch is to increase the league's revenue for television. After all, many speculate the reason the league won't consider shortening the season is because they'd lose more money due to fewer games being aired. But Morey believes more people would tune in if there were fewer games since each matchup would carry more importance.
He admits the one-and-done playoff format wouldn't benefit his team, especially this year, but thinks it would be good for the league as a whole.
"It’s actually really helpful for the NFL, for example, and another reason they have so much interest is you have ‘any given Sunday.’ You have playoffs where it is one-and-done. Those two things help drive interest to the max level. You actually don’t want the better team to win all the time because you want the uncertainty of outcome.”
Making the regular season just 30 to 40 games would obviously take out the player rest argument, but it'd probably be too dramatic for the league to even consider. While it's fun to think about, Morey will probably stand alone on this issue as far as bigwigs in the league are concerned.