In Friday's match between the Golden State Warriors versus the Cleveland Cavaliers, head coach Steve Kerr decided to sit out his superstars, specifically Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. It was the back end of a back-to-back for the Warriors, who played the Boston Celtics in a game that went to overtime exactly 24 hours before. While this was a reasonable excuse for Kerr, he's saddened that it had to come at the expense of fans who spent thousands of dollars to watch a complete Warriors team in action.
"I feel terrible for fans who bought a ticket expecting to see someone play. It's a brutal part of the business. It's why I'm going to continue to advocate for 72-game seasons," Kerr said pregame, as reported by The Athletic's Anthony Slater.
Kerr is pushing for the NBA to lessen regular season games
The head coach isn't the only one advocating to lessen the games in the regular season. In the past, LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki have shared their stance on why 82 games are just too much in a season. Not only does the grind demand players to play at a high level for 6 months and more (depending on how far they go in the Playoffs), but it also increases the risk of more injuries and fatigue in general.
Take it from Nowitzki, who shared a fair point about the matter back in 2014:
"Honestly, I never was a big fan of back-to-backs, even when I was 20 years old. I think that you should never have to play at the highest level. There are two consecutive nights and flying in between. You obviously make it work. We have the best athletes in the world, we feel, but I think it hurts the product some. Last year, some teams got here for the fourth game in five nights, and we've been sitting here on rest and just blowing them out," Nowitzki said, as reported by Bleacher Report.
Why can't the NBA lessen the games?
While the NBA will gladly hear what players have to say, at the end of the day, the league survived on revenue. Their most significant source of income is through the ample amount of games they broadcast almost every day on a 6-month basis — not including the Playoffs.
Aside from television, a lot of the league's profit also depends on tickets and merchandise sold on a daily basis. Ultimately, cutting more games in the regular season would hurt the NBA's income.