NBA commissioner Adam Silver has taken note of players' tendencies to rest more frequently and acknowledges that significant changes to the current 82-game schedule may be required for the benefit of the athletes, teams, and fans.
"I think a fair point from fans could be if ultimately the science suggests that 82 games is too many games for these players, maybe you shouldn't have an 82-game season," Silver said at a press conference, according to ESPN's Tim Bontemps. "I accept that, and that's something we'll continue to look at."
Silver mentioned the potential addition of a midseason or end-of-season tournament could help balance the revenue lost from a decrease in regular-season games. He also referenced trimming down individual contests from 48 minutes to 40 to place less burden on high-usage players.
"That's why I'm particularly interested in looking at different kinds of formats - at midseason tournaments, for example, play-in tournaments - because even accepting that players have so many miles on their bodies, there may be better ways to present it," Silver said. "Assuming guys are going to play 82 games, maybe there should be a certain number of games in the regular season, and then there should be two tournaments throughout the season."
The commissioner has prioritized players' physical well-being in recent years, introducing methods to decrease workloads by allowing significantly fewer back-to-backs and increasing the length of the All-Star break.
Silver has also become an advocate for mental health, as several players have spoken up in recent years about their personal struggles and ways they've been forced to cope with them during an exhausting season.