Remember a year ago when we all thought, “good riddance 2020, at least 2021 can’t be as insane as you.”
Well… 2021 was a different kind of exhausting insane, but it was all of that and more. It hit the NBA — and continues to hit the league — as it has families, businesses, and lives across the nation. How insane was it for the NBA? Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press had the perfect stat.
The total NBA games in 2021: 1,631.
By far, the most in a calendar year.
It speaks to how crazy these times have been (and are), how much has been asked of the players and teams, not to mention how much work it's taken from all the people who make games happen.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) December 31, 2021
For some context, a traditional 82-game regular season for all 30 teams is 1,230 games. Last season there were 85 total playoff games, in the last non-COVID season (2019) there were 82 playoff games. All of which is to say, most years have about 1,315 NBA games.
2021 had an additional 300 games compared to a traditional year.
Those extra games were a drain on players, coaches, front offices, people on the business side, and everyone in the NBA business. Like many other industries, there was more talk of burnout around league staff than you heard in previous years — everyone understands they are lucky to work in basketball, but that doesn’t make it any less draining at times.
Good riddance 2021, at least 2022 can’t be as insane as you.