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Nowitzki advocates shorter season

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Updated 12 months ago on
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Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki heard about the NBA experimenting with shorter games in the preseason, but he has another idea.

The 36-year-old Nowitzki would like to see a shorter season, as in fewer games, rather than games with 11-minute quarters instead of 12.

A workable number of games, in his view, would be somewhere in the mid-60s, a significant reduction from the current 82-game schedule. At the same time, Nowitzki is a realist and recognizes the schedule is revenue driven.

“I think you don’t need 82 games to determine the best eight in each conference,” Nowitzki said Wednesday. “That could be done a lot quicker, but I always understand that it’s about money, and every missed game means missed money for both parties, for the league, for the owners, for the players.

“I understand all that, and that’s why I don’t think it’s going to change any time soon.”

More problematic from Nowitzki’s perspective is the number of back-to-back games on consecutive days.

“Honestly, I never was a big fan of back-to-backs even when I was 20 years old,” said Nowitzki, who is entering his 17th NBA season. “I think that you should never have to play at the highest level when there is two consecutive nights and flying in between. You obviously make it work.

“We have the best athletes in the world, we feel, but I think it hurts the product some. Last year, some teams get here for the fourth game in five nights and we’ve been sitting here on rest and just blow them out. I don’t think it’s good for the product, but I also understand that 82 games is where it’s at. It’s a business, and everybody’s got to live with it.”

The NBA will experiement with a 44-minute game when the Brooklyn Nets and the Boston Celtics meet Sunday.

Another way to shorten the games, Nowitzki suggested, is to limit timeouts at the end of games.

“It’s such a fun, fast game,” Nowitzki said. “Then there’s one action and they score, OK, there’s a timeout and you sit for two minutes. There’s another action, they score, tie it up (and another timeout).

“There’s no other sport where it’s interrupted so much at the end. That’s something that I would look at. Both teams are like, ‘They have another timeout? Are you kidding me?’ That’s a little much, but other than that, I think the game’s great.”

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