Michael Jordan has no time for all this talk of shortening the NBA season. Jordan craved basketball so much during his playing days, he claims, that he would have played in multiple leagues if the NBA season was any shorter.
Jordan’s comments came in response to recent statements from LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki saying that the current 82-game season is unnecessarily long.
“I love both of those guys,” Jordan tells ESPN's Chris Broussard, “but as an owner who played the game, I loved playing. If I wasn't playing 82 games, I still would've been playing somewhere else because that's the love for the game I had. As a player, I never thought 82 games was an issue.”
Did Jordan really have the insatiable appetite for the game that he claims he did? Probably. Keep in mind that he retired twice mid-career, though. Also, Jordan is an NBA team owner now, so anything he says about a shortened season should be taken with a grain of salt. More games = more money for MJ.
He says if players truly want a shorter season, the owners can discuss it.
“But if that's what they want to do, we as owners and players can evaluate it and talk about it,” Jordan says. “But we'd make less money as partners. Are they ready to give up money to play fewer games? That's the question, because you can't make the same amount of money playing fewer games.”
On a related note, LeBron James thinks the NBA’s upcoming 44-minute game experiment is worthless. James says the season length, not the game length, is the problem.
“It's not the minutes, it's the games,” James said. “The minutes don't mean anything. We can play 50-minute games if we had to. It's the games that I think we all as players think is too many games in our season. 82 games are a lot. But it's not the minutes, taking away minutes from the game is not going to shorten the game at all.”