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Richard Jefferson Went On A Rant Laying Out Why He’s Against Shortening The NBA Season

For several years now, the NBA calendar has been a hot button issue for the league. With every passing year, the murmurs grow louder on why the league plays an 82-game season in the face of ample data suggesting the schedule length is harmful to players. Adam Silver has continually pushed for big changes to the calendar, including extending the All-Star break and adding the play-in tournament. The NBA has even optimized the league schedule to reduce back-to-backs and limit the amount of miles traveled.

But even with the new mitigations, players still routinely need nights off during the season to maintain their bodies with an eye on being ready when the playoffs roll around. As such, an increasingly common take is that there are simply too many games. Richard Jefferson disagrees. The 16-year NBA vet-turned-analyst went on a 2-minute rant on why shortening the season is a huge mistake.

“Professional sports is not supposed to be good on your body,” Jefferson said. “It’s supposed to separate the people that can do it from the people that can’t do it. And while we do want the best product on the floor, part of greatness is longevity.”

Even with all the new bells and whistles for player health that Jefferson mentioned, injuries have still run rampant throughout these playoffs. Eight All-Star players missed at least one game in the playoffs, while both the Mavs and the Heat looked completely worn down at the end of the conference finals. Basketball is an endurance sport, and over time, it has only become more difficult to play. Reducing the amount of games in a season would greatly improve player health and the NBA product in general.