NBA commissioner Adam Silver said during an interview on ESPN's Mike & Mike radio show that he thinks it is "highly unlikely" the league will change the number of minutes in games anytime soon.
The Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets played an experimental 44-minute preseason game earlier this month. The game lasted 1 hour, 58 minutes, which is 15 to 30 minutes quicker than a standard 48-minute game. Two mandatory television timeouts were also removed from the game - one during both the second and fourth quarters.
Silver said the idea for the shorter game came directly from a coaches' meeting, but he doubts it will be implemented in the near future. Silver said the league is more likely to change the amount of time between games with an emphasis on reducing the number of back-to-back games teams play.
"I think it's highly unlikely that we're going to see a change in the number of minutes anytime soon. On the other hand, format is something we're we'll continue to look at, and maybe a change in the spacing of the games throughout the season. Obviously a lot of focus on back-to-backs and three-games-in-four-nights, and several people suggested that we look at potentially reducing the number of preseason games, starting the regular season a little bit earlier, push it a little bit later and so creating a little bit more spacing, and I think that was the response from some of the players to the 44-minute game as well."
Several players said they do not believe changing the number of minutes in a game will be a difference maker. Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki said the 82-game schedule is too long and should be shortened.
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James also said the schedule is the problem, not the minutes in each game. "The minutes doesn't mean anything," James told reporters. "We can play 50-minute games if we had to. It's just the games."
A shorter game has also been pitched to appease television networks who want games to fit into specific time slots.
- Paul Palladino