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Andre Iguodala Defends NBA’s 82-Game Schedule: ‘You Need to Keep on That Tradition’

Andre Iguodala (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Four-time NBA champion Andre Iguodalasaid the league shouldn’t reduce its 82-game regular-seasonschedule.

Iguodala argued Friday on the PointForward podcast (via Lee Tran of Fadeaway World) having the ability tosurvive the grind of a whole campaign is section of the challenge that separates players at basketball’s highest level:

“We gonna keep playing 82 gamesuntil 3005. We can not change 82 games. 82 games … there is a mentalside of it. That is why we discuss rookie wall. Records are created tobe broken, so when we progress as time passes we’ll break more records.But I really do think that there is a foundation in every sports, you have tocarry on that tradition… 82 games, I really do think you understand it separatesthe men from the boys.”

The 2015 NBA Finals MVP pointed to UtahJazz legend John Stockton, who played all 82 games in 16 differentseasons, for example of what the typical ought to be:

“Underneath of our league is thebar for the smallest amount the NBA player has lowered. I believe thatneeds to improve and the section of this is actually the mental side of it. We’regetting younger and younger, but we’d grown-ass men playing in theleague. After all, John Stockton miss what 15 games over 20 years.”

The phrase “load management” hasbecome almost synonymous with the NBA. Players regularly take gamesoff through the entire regular season for rest and recovery.

Similarly, it’s hard at fault playersfor attempting to reduce their injury risk and wanting to remain asclose to 100 percent as you possibly can for the playoffs, that may featurean additional 20-plus games in case a team goes the length.

Yet, the knowledge requires a serious hitwhen the sport’s biggest names are out from the lineup for non-injuryreasons, particularly when it involves road games where opposing fans may onlyget an opportunity to start to see the player personally once a season.

In July, NBA commissioner Adam Silverjokingly blamed San Antonio Spurs CEO R.C. Buford for starting thetrend of load management within much more serious remarks about theissue:

Ben Golliver @BenGolliver

NBA commissioner Adam Silver on load management: Theres nothing more frustrating also for the fans than having players, frankly, who arent injured following some program schedule for rest. Im considering [Spurs executive] R.C. [Buford], you started this all.

Last December, ESPN’s AdrianWojnarowski reported the NBA and the Players Association engaged indiscussions that could decrease the regular-season schedule to 78 gamesbut add an in-season tournament much like those in European soccer.

Although it would modestly shorten theactual campaign, it’s unclear whether it could have any effect on thetopic of load management.

A reduction from 82 gameswould likewise have a direct effect on all of the records achieved since that length ofschedule was established in 1967-68.

Ultimately, while Iguodala is hoping tradition wins outin the finish, it seems changes could be coming.

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