NBA PM: Tyrus Thomas Showcases Game

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Earlier this week Alex Kennedy revealed that after a year away from the game, Tyrus Thomas is trying to work his way back into the league. Thomas, the former No. 4 overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, was amnestied by the Charlotte Bobcats after the 2012-13 season. Following that season, Thomas was forced to undergo surgery to have a cyst removed from his back and also dealt with issues away from the court that made him think his career was done. But, he’s healthy now and training twice a day at a minimum in San Antonio, Texas, waiting for a phone call from an NBA team that needs him. Basketball Insiders was able to film a Thomas workout and talk to him more in-depth about why he feels ready to make his comeback now in this two-part video feature.

In part two, Thomas continues to showcase his improved range and skill set, while talking about the things he learned during this year away from the game.

Silver On Scheduling: There’s been a lot of talk lately about making changes to the league’s current 82-game schedule, whether it be shortening the season, the actual games, or just simply getting rid of back-to-backs. During a conversation with Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck, Silver went in-depth on what the league is looking and, and why:

“[The 44 minute game] was a fascinating experiment in that there’s been a lot of discussion on length of games, over the years not just in our sport but in all sports,” Silver said. “I think people have picked on baseball more than our sport. I always say as a kid movies were two and a half hours long and now they’re two hours. If you were designing the NBA by scratch today I’m not sure where we’d end up is a two and a half hour game, in terms of actual clock time of course it’s 48 minutes in terms of the game itself. I don’t think the answer is fewer minutes to the game, it’s not as if our fans are telling us they want to see fewer minutes on the court. Clearly our fans are telling us to take a look at the format. Remember in the 44 minute experiment it wasn’t just the clock time, we also took two of the commercial breaks as well. We have to balance the commercial needs of the league and the players against the entertainment value and running team. What was also beneficial of the 44 minute experiment is that it gets people thinking about the issue maybe in the same reference back to the draft lottery. There’s so many smart minds outside of the league, when you do a 44 minute experiment what you get is a lot of free research. People weigh in and say maybe not 44 minutes, but look at the format, change the schedule, that for example is something we continue to look at. Ultimately, in terms of the players, there’s better ways to rest them than reduce the number of minutes, we’re adding an All-Star break, or lengthening the break, back-to-backs are of course an issue for players and teams, maybe we need to begin the season a little earlier, reduce the preseason, go a little longer in June, space the season out more. Those are all considerations, the good ideas continue to pour in after the 44 minute experiment.

“I think [shortening the preseason] is something we’ll take a look at. There’s revenue implications too for preseason, when I say revenue implications it’s not just reducing the number of domestic preseason games, as you know we’ve taken advantage of that opportunity in that month of October to really grow our business internationally. I was in Berlin with the Spurs two weeks ago, then I went on to China with the Kings. In those market we get questions about bringing regular season games, but what I point out, especially in China, the fact that we play in the preseason gives us the luxury to come over for multiple days, players spending time sightseeing, experiencing the culture, running clinics, doing charitable events andall kinds of things that we couldn’t do if players just jumped on a plane, played a game and then came right back. Ultimately I don’t think that’s something our fans necessarily want, I understand from our players’ standpoint, I think if we reduce the number of games, I think it depends if you’re on a winning team. A lot of our players finish their season in April, our better players are playing well into June.

“I’ve learned the hard way, not necessarily to trust my gut and look at the data. I think that’s where analytics came in. When we were kids guys took the entire summer off and training camp was the chance to lose a few pounds that you gained over the summer, and truly get back in shape. I don’t think anyone would suggest today that the fact that guys did virtually nothing during the summer was better health wise. Finding that right balance, even if players don’t participate with their national teams during the summer or aren’t actively playing, they’re working out hard. Sometimes what I’ve heard from some trainers is the repetitiveness of some of the things they’re doing on their own instead of playing games isn’t necessarily good for their tendons or muscle. We need more science here, that’s something the league is taking more seriously. We have extensive discussions at the owners meeting about that as well, what should we be doing collectively as a league in terms of gathering medical data, there’s always going to be some competitive issues with teams, some teams think they have the secret sauce in terms of the rehab and appropriate training, but I think owners are increasingly of the view that certain amounts of that information should be shared because as a league we all have an interest in extending the careers of our players, especially our star players.

“I realize you can’t just take the existing 82 game schedule, regular season plus playoffs then just plop another tournament down on top of it. I think you’d have to take a serious look at the All-Star break if it were a midseason tournament, the game itself, events around All-Star, but conceivably what a midseason tournament could look like is some number of teams, you could either begin with all the teams and have a single-elimination tournament, it’s another area where through floating the idea, I’ve gotten some really interesting suggestions. It may be an opportunity to bring in international clubs, there’s been talk about the NBA sponsoring a world championship, of course there’s a world cup now which the United States participates in, but for the NBA, club championships are very different. We, I and others at the league office have studied the champions league for European soccer. They have other types of cups and midseason tournaments. There they have a long tradition, but maybe there’s an opportunity to create a new tradition, to create more competitions. Right now everything is about the Larry O’Brien trophy. European soccer operates a little bit different they have different cups which maybe aren’t the equivalent of a championship, but are highly coveted. Those aren’t the type of changes that are going to happen in a year or not even two or three, but are the kind of developments that need to be studied over time. That’s why we have a competition committee. I think we’d be crazy not to be constantly taking a fresh look at everything we do.”