I have often despised the NBA and the MLB, among others, for the ridiculous number of games that they play. I don’t despise the leagues themselves, but I think the product they put out is weak. The MLB survives because their core fans are all into stats and analytics, and love the length and how teams have the chance to recover from an eight game losing streak, but for the casual sports fan it’s awful.
Any league that ends up forcing its coaches to rest players in the middle of the season, in my opinion, is playing way too many games. I can understand resting a few players in the last game or two of a regular season if everything is all locked up, but other than that there should be no reason for it. Just look at the NBA right now – the Warriors have a 1/2 game lead in the Western Conference going down the stretch towards the playoffs, and their best players aren’t even playing. In a time where most other leagues would be in extreme competition to grab a few more wins and fight for playoff position, the NBA has teams practically forfeiting games. That leads to an awful product for casual sports fans, which doesn’t even matter to the leagues that are doing this because the money they lose from it is made up by the fact that they are playing 12 billion games.
As an avid basketball fan I can get into the NBA Playoffs because I believe the competition is finally amped up there, but most casual sports fans can only bare to watch half of it. Even the playoffs alone drag out over a month in a sport where teams are playing pretty much every night. Professional leagues already have one thing working against them in that players have already made it big, forcing them to play 82 games only works to further decrease the competition level of the games. For these reasons, I’ll stick to college basketball until March Madness ends, and then turn my eyes over to the NBA.