This is something a lot of players had requested. Commissioner Adam Silver said last All-Star Break that players had told him they wanted more time off around the All-Star Game.
For guys going to the All-Star Game there is not much of a break — a game Wednesday or maybe Thursday, they fly straight to the host city and have obligations and events from Friday through Sunday, then they are back on the court the next Tuesday. They rightfully say they don’t get much rest. As for guys not in the All-Star game who are supposed to get five days off (but it’s really four thanks to a mandated practice day)… who doesn’t want more vacation time?
Players had requested a week-long All-Star break and they may get it starting next season in New York, reports Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.
The NBA is poised to turn the All-Star break into All-Star week this coming season, the Sun Sentinel has learned, providing teams with a full week off at midseason.
The move, which would give players seven days off between games in mid-February, would result in an increase of one or two back-to-back sets per team for the coming season, a party familiar with the process said.
“That’s the model they’re using right now while they’re filling in the schedule,” an NBA source familiar with the process told the Sun Sentinel Friday. “Could they go back and use some of those dates if needed? That’s possible. But the week off looks like what’s going to happen.”
The NBA’s schedule is supposed to be released in August, with move of LeBron James to Cleveland forcing the league’s television partners to reconsider what would be the marquee games on what days. A week off in the middle also would force some shifts in the calendar.
I’m good with this week off. On the court, it means more time off to rest injuries, plus tired legs and minds, which should mean a higher level of play to follow.
Plus, that week we’re all talking about the trade deadline anyway. It’s not like the NBA is going to be out of the news cycle.
However, this is not the kind of concession Adam Silver and the owners are going to just give the players for free. This is the kind of thing that comes up in collective bargaining when Silver starts talking about having a 20-year-old age limit (or some other priority of Silver and the owners). There’s no such thing as a free week off.