Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki believes NBA seasons are too long and would recommend regular-season schedules be cut from 82 games to "mid 60s."
Nowitzki's comments come after Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said he believes there's too many games in an NBA season, especially when it comes to back-to-back games. Nowitzki said he has never liked back-to-backs, not even when he was 20 years old.
"I think that you should never have to play at the highest level when there is two consecutive nights and flying in between," Nowitzki said. "We have the best athletes in the world, we feel, but I think it hurts the product some."
Spoelstra said he doesn't feel the length of games is the biggest issue, and Nowitzki said he doesn't want to see games be shortened. And while he would like to see the length of the season reduced, Nowitzki doesn't believe it will realistically happen in the near future.
"I think you don't need 82 games to determine the best eight in each conference," he said. "That could be done a lot quicker, but I always understand that it's about money, and every missed game means missed money for both parties, for the league, for the owners, for the players. I understand all that and that's why I don't think it's going to change any time soon."
The 2014-15 NBA season begins on Oct. 28.
- Molly Geary