The NBA has issued a memo to teams this week advising of scheduling changes to impact player participation, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.
The season has been extended for a week starting earlier in October, and several rules are being put in place to disincentivize the stars from resting so much. ESPN, which is reporting on this, is also in a position to be a beneficiary of changes, as a broadcast partner. Last year, there were several moments where ESPN on-air personalities complained about stars resting in primetime games.
The changes include:
- No 4 games in 5 days stretches;
- Fewer than 18 games over every 30 day period;
- Reduction of 5 games in 7 days stretches for each team, by cutting those types of scenarios in half (40 total occurrences next season versus 90 times last year);
- 40 fewer back-to-back games this upcoming season;
- More weekend games, even during football season.
We’ll see if these changes cause the star players to participate and not avoid certain primetime matchups during the lengthy regular season.