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It wasn't very flashy, but yesterday Adam Silver outlined his vision for the immediate future of the NBA during his first month of his second year as commissioner.
Whilst he appeared reluctant to propose anything radical, he did address the need to space out games more to avoid spurts of "four games in five nights." In order to fix that he entertained the idea of reducing the mind numbingly dull preseason schedule, meaning they could possibly begin the regular season in mid-October. The league could also see an increase of contests on both Thursdays and Saturdays, instead of going with a reduction on those dates to appease TV networks and their lucrative national broadcasts.
Other topics that were touched on included the commish re-iterating his plan to allow the top 16 teams in the league into the postseason regardless of conference (which we previously mentioned in greater detail). It's a plan that probably becomes more popular as you go west, with Silver intimating that it'd be a tough proposal to pass without any incentive for Eastern Conference owners to vote for it. In Silver's own words on the subject he said:
"If there was a simple solution we would've made it long ago. I am a believer in the conference and division system. I think there may be some tweaks. ... There's certain Eastern Conference owners who want the status quo and Western Conference owners who say change is due. We're going to take a very hard look at it."
Silver later added that owners will take a look at a potential anti-tanking measure during an upcoming April meeting. Last October, the non-specific measure failed to get the required two-thirds vote to take effect, but the idea behind it is to erase the motivation for crappy teams to vie consciously (or unconsciously) for the title of "crappiest team," to obviously improve their lottery odds. While choosing his words more carefully than I, Silver said:
"I personally believe we need changes. It's largely a perception issue so fans see that our teams do not benefit from losing games."
Thankfully for Knicks fans, the measure wouldn't be implemented until the 2016 Draft at the earliest.
In a press conference absent of mentions about James Dolan, or a horribly punctuated letter he wrote to a lifetime Knicks fan, it was hard to find nuggets of interest. But the last thing that Silver mentioned that was in any way intriguing was a mention by him that perhaps the league should raise the minimum age to play on an NBA court from 19 to 20. In a quote that's hard to misinterpret, Silver said:
"I think it would be much better for the game if the minimum age was 20 instead of 19."
And lest you think that'll improve the quality of the college game, Silver quickly took a reality shat on his own two cents, acknowledging that said increase would be an uphill climb that probably won't come up until the next collective bargaining agreement. In fact, the day before, the executive director of the union (Michele Roberts) said "Be happy with one-and-done; it's not going to be two-and-done."
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