NBA considering ways to speed up the end of games

The NBA has a bad reason for wanting to speed up games, but should do it anyway

The NBA wants to speed up the end of games, and is studying the possibility of limiting the number of timeouts in the final two minutes of games.

This is a good thing. Their logic for doing it? Or at the least the one they're selling to the public? It doesn't make any sense.

Here's NBA Commissioner Adam Silver talking about the pace of play to a group of reporters in London:

This is the go-to explanation for why sporting events need to be shortened: Millennials and their Snapchat have no attention spans! That's the problem!

It's a silly argument. The ends of NBA games have been too long for decades. That was true when there was basic cable and it's true now. It's true for Gen Xers and baby boomers and tweens and everyone else. The ends of games can be interminable. There are timeouts, game stoppages, substitutions, intentional fouls, official reviews. They can go on forever.

On top of this, there are more entertainment options than ever before. Multiple screens (not just for Millenials, but for everyone) are available, and a thousand plus channels and all the rest. Placing it all on one demographic may make for a nice PowerPoint slide, but it's ridiculous. I've heard people complain about the pace at the end of NBA games since I was 6 years old, which happen to be right around my first conscious memories of watching basketball.

The good thing is: The NBA is doing something about it. They've already chopped time off games, mostly by looking at in-game stoppages that were built in by the league. The majority of the time getting chopped off is in the first three quarters, with the fourth quarter staying flat, most likely due to the addition of replay.

And they're eager to do more. This is a good thing. And even if the logic used to get there is faulty -- the argument that "Millennials all have ADD and no one else does!" doesn't make any sense if you think about it for more than two seconds -- it's a good result. NBA games with their many timeouts and intentional fouls, have always been a pain to watch at the end of games. The NBA should be thinking about how to fix that, for all of the fans, no matter the demographic.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks to reporters during a news conference, Friday, Oct. 21, 2016, in New York. Silver says the league and players have made "tremendous progress" toward an extension of the collective bargaining agreement, saying he ho


NBA: We Might Speed Up The End Of Games Because Of Crappy Millennial Attention Spans

The last two minutes of an NBA game move at the pace of continental drift thanks to an interminable barrage of timeouts, replay reviews to determine exactly whose ass the ball bounced off of, and free throw back-and-forths. It’s boring, and bad, and turns what should be the most enthralling part of the game into a disjointed stop-and-go mess.

Thankfully, the NBA is aiming to come up with ways to fix things this offseason. Adam Silver told reporters in London today that the NBA had started to study the glacial ends of games this year, and will review their results this offseason. The reason why the league is considering improvements? You, the short-attention-span-having millennial who barely made it this far into this blog post:

“It’s something that I know all of sports are looking at right now, and that is the format of the game and the length of time it takes to play the game,” Silver said. “Obviously people, particularly millennials, have increasingly short attention spans, so it’s something as a business we need to pay attention to.”
Whether or not these whippersnappers with their Snaptube and their Tweetface are to blame, the NBA is very correct to try and speed up the ends of games.


Adam Silver: NBA seeking to speed up end of games

The NBA is studying ways to accelerate the end of games to hold its audience, specifically the younger generation.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver addressed the issue during a news conference Thursday in London before the Denver Nuggets beat the Indiana Pacers 140-112 at O2 Arena, saying the league has been conducting a review for the past year that will continue after the current season.

One of the focuses is the number of timeouts in the final two minutes of games.

"When the last few minutes of the game take an extraordinary amount of time, sometimes it's incredibly interesting for fans, other times it's not," Silver said. "We are going to take a fresh look at the format, specifically in the last two minutes."

Silver stressed the importance of keeping young fans engaged.

"It's something that I know all of sports are looking at right now, and that is the format of the game and the length of time it takes to play the game," Silver said. "Obviously people, particularly millennials, have increasingly short attention spans, so it's something as a business we need to pay attention to."

Any changes to shorten the length of games would go through the league's competition committee for review and then to the board of owners.

"It's something that we track very closely," Silver said. "In the league office, we (track) every game, we know exactly how much time each possession takes and, again, we can also look at minute-by-minute ratings, so we know at what point fans are potentially tuning out as well."

Silver also touched upon the possibility of more regular-season NBA games being played outside the United States.

"We hope to increase the number of international games that we play," Silver said. "We don't have any specific plans in place yet. It's a function of the quality of the arenas and the amount of interest in those markets."

In addition to the Nuggets-Pacers game in England, the Phoenix Suns are playing two games in Mexico City this week, against the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday and against the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday.

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