NBA basketball

Why are there 82 games anyway? Nobody really knows.


If there seems to be one consensus among fans and pundits as the discussion of a post-lockout NBA schedule picks up steam, it is this:

The NBA season is too long.

It is 82 games, as it has been since most of us can remember. As it has been since most of us were born.

Why 82? Um, well, Kevin Arnovitz asked around for TrueHoop and it turns out nobody really knows. Not league officials, not the league schedule maker, not anybody.

NBA teams played 80 games each beginning in 1961-62. The league added a game in 1966-67, bringing the total to 81, then ultimately settled on 82 games for the 1967-68 season, when the San Diego Rockets and Seattle SuperSonics joined the league. Now a 12-team league, the NBA had each team play its conference rivals eight times and its inter-conference foes seven times. As the league continued to expand, the NBA maintained its 82-game schedule — the only exception being the 1998-99 season, when a lockout produced an abbreviated — and compressed — 50-game schedule.

Arnovitz makes the case for a 44 games season where teams would play just twice a week — once midweek and once on the weekend. Less supply would save a lot of wear and tear on players, it would allow coaches to practice more and put in more detailed game plans. Certainly 44 is on the low end of calls, but a lot of people like the idea of a regular 70 or 76 game season.

Why is that not going to happen? Money.

The average Lakers game brings in about $2 million in revenue, which puts it at the high end. The Grizzlies are on the low end and they get more than $500,000 a game in revenue.

So even for the Grizzlies, cancel six home dates and that is $3 million less in revenue. Television contracts would have to be adjusted down, same with arena sponsorship deals. Which ultimately means less money in the players pockets.

So it’s not going to happen. But I wish it would. Even if it was 44 games.

Derrick Rose being back for start of season in question

Fred Hoiberg, Derrick Rose
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The Bulls have said Derrick Rose is about a week away from returning after suffering a facial fracture this preseason.

The start of the NBA season is two weeks from today (Oct. 27).

So Rose will be ready to go when the Bulls start their season that first night against Cleveland, right? Don’t bet on it, says Vincent Goodwill of, quoting coach Fred Hoiberg.

The opening night projection for a Derrick Rose return is a bit murky at this point, as the Bulls are taking a cautious approach to his recovery with Fred Hoiberg essentially ruling him out for the rest of the preseason.

“Most likely (out for the preseason),” Hoiberg said….

In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Rose sit out the first handful of games, as the Bulls start the season with a three-game in four-night stretch starting Oct. 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers, which is in two weeks.

“That will be in consideration, sure,” Hoiberg said. “We gotta make sure, he really hasn’t done anything and that will be a good two or three weeks where he has total inactivity, so just to throw him back out there going 100 percent with his speed and everything, you just don’t want to take any risks, chances, where it could be a lingering issue.”

Just what TNT and the NBA hoped for with an opening night Bulls vs. Cavaliers showcase: Kirk Hinrich vs. Mo Williams. (Don’t forget Kyrie Irving will miss the start of the season recovering from his knee surgery.)

Of course, this is the smart play for the Bulls who need to be thinking about getting Rose fully healthy and focusing on what condition he will be come April 27, not Oct. 27.

And of course, a lot of Bulls fans who are down on Rose will slam him for this. Even though the injury was a freak accident and the team is right to be patient.

Rose could play opening night, if he gets back to practice next week and can get closer to basketball shape. But I wouldn’t bet on it.

Stephen Curry apologizes for Warriors’ health, playoff path, success

Stephen Curry, DeAndre Jordan, Spencer Hawes

Draymond Green wasn’t the only Warrior firing back at perceived critics today.

A sarcastic Stephen Curry joined the fun (and to his credit, did so much more appropriately than his teammate).


I just want to say, I apologize for us being healthy. I apologize for us playing who’s in front of us. I apologize for all the accolades we’ve received as a team and individually. I’m very, truly sorry. We’ll rectify that situation this year.

We try to have fun with it.

What the Warriors refuse to realize: Acknowledging the fortunate breaks they received en route to their championship is not the same as saying they didn’t deserve their championship. It’s not insulting them.

Of course, the Warriors aren’t obligated to fully understand the critiques. They’re incentivized to spin the comments into motivation.

Mission clearly accomplished.