Earlier today, the NBA announced that it was going to test out a 44-minute game on October 19 when the Boston Celtics meet the Brooklyn Nets. The announcement was something of a surprise to fans and players everywhere.
Anyone involved in the NBA these days has only known the 48-minute game, including Kobe Bryant. According to Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters, Kobe wouldn’t be against the shortened games:
44 min game was today's hot topic! Kobe: "I’m kind of old school, used to the 48 minutes, but at this stage I won’t complain if it’s less."
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) October 14, 2014
As someone who has played more than 45,000 minutes in his career and an additional 8,600 plus minutes in the playoffs, it makes sense that Bryant wouldn’t mind having a little less wear-and-tear on his body every night.
Kobe probably isn’t the only player who wouldn’t mind it. With 82 games stretching out over six months, the strain of the regular season is very tough on players. Reducing games is unlikely because the owners would miss out on a lot of additional revenue, but shortening the games could help.
Players like Kobe, Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett have been putting major miles on their bodies for years with hard-fought regular seasons going along with deep playoff runs for years. It may be a stretch to expect the league to fully commit to 44-minute games, but the experiment itself is a positive step towards making things better for players.
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