The NBA season is already crazy long – 82 games, without even counting the extremely long postseason. The intensity in the NBA is as high as it’s ever been, and it takes a lot of our stars to play 82+ games.
Famously, Cleveland got "in trouble" in the 2016-17 season when they rested LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love during a nationally televised game against the Los Angeles Clippers. People claimed they felt robbed because they didn’t get to see the stars they expected when they bought their tickets.
I understand the fans’ reaction. However, I also get that in a long season wears on people.
So why, oh why, is there a preseason to go with it??
Each team plays up to eight preseason games, stacked into only three weeks. As a result, you’ve got travel, fatigue, and even back-to-back games – before anything even counts.
This adds to the wear-and-tear that players experience, and it can cause serious injuries and other stresses. Some players even party to help them cope and unwind – and end up needing the kind of help you find at this website.
If there really has to be 82 regular season games, do you need a preseason at all? If you do, can’t it be just two or something?
The Real Reason for the Preseason
The NBA claims that the preseason allows teams to play together, get used to each other, and practice plays in real time.
Maybe. They can do that in practice – and in the 82 REGULAR GAMES.
In reality, the reason for the preseason is pretty simple – the NBA can test rules and bring in even more cash. ‘Cause there’s never enough cash.
Speaking of cash, the NBA is also trying to expand its draw overseas, scheduling games in Canada, nations hosting the Olympics, and more.
The Good News About the Preseason
I still think having a preseason before 82 games is ridiculous, but there is an upside. The teams schedule their own preseason games – there’s no minimum, and the stars don’t have to play in every single one.
In fact, most of the stars don’t play in more than a few of the preseason games, and often sit out one of a back-to-back set if there is one.
LeBron sat out all but one half of a game in the Cavs preseason last year, and he doesn’t plan to play much this year either. He said, "I don’t even know how many games we have. I’m not going to play that many minutes." Like many stars, he wants to conserve his energy for the grueling season.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for NBA players to suffer significant injuries in preseason games. It’s simple math – the more the players are on the floor, the more injuries can happen. With 82 games in the regular season and the potential for 28 postseason games, there’s already a lot of danger.
So – with the risk of injuries, the long regular season, and the very long postseason – why does the NBA have a preseason, again?