LeBron James says players could handle 50 minutes, calls for fewer games

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LeBron James’ voice carries weight unlike anyone else involved with the NBA.

It’s one thing for Erik Spoelstra and Dirk Nowitzki to call for reducing the number of games in a season.

But when LeBron does it, it’s on an entirely different level.

On the heels of the NBA experimenting with a 44-minute game, LeBron chimed in.

Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

The issue, as Kurt Helin expertly breaks down here, is the NBA can really reduce player fatigue by reducing the number of games in a season, not the number of minutes in a game. But that, at face value, would reduce the league’s revenue and, therefore, player salary.

Maybe – just maybe – trimming the schedule would offset that revenue loss by increasing demand (by improving the on-court product) and decreasing supply (by reducing the number of games).

Would fans pay more for tickets if the schedule is shorter? Would sponsors pay more for advertisements? How much more?

The 44-minute game seems like the best chance at a quick fix, but like most quick fixes, it probably won’t achieve much. Reducing the number of games in the season deserves exploration.

Maybe the cost would be too high, but that would make a bigger difference in keeping players fresh.