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#pounditFriday, January 27, 2023

Richard Jefferson opposed to 1 change NBA is considering

Richard Jefferson smiling

Feb 18, 2022; Cleveland, OH, USA; Former NBA player Richard Jefferson poses for photographers before the Ruffles NBA All-Star Celebrity Game at the Wolstein Center. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

NBA commissioner Adam Silver didn’t fully dismiss the notion that the league could shorten its 82-game season while speaking at a press conference Thursday before Game 1 of the NBA Finals. But former NBA champion and ESPN NBA analyst Richard Jefferson would not be on board with that decision.

During Friday’s edition of ESPN’s “NBA Today,” Jefferson called the idea to shorten the season “absurd.”

“It makes absolutely no sense,” Jefferson said. “Professional sports is not good on your body. It’s supposed to separate the people that can do it from the people that can’t do it.

“And while we do want our best product on the floor, part of greatness is longevity.”

Jefferson also cited the league’s elimination of back-to-back games and the extension of the All-Star break to a full week as reasons why shortening the season is unnecessary.

Silver told reporters that he’s not opposed to shortening the regular season or changing its format if doing so has a direct impact on injuries. The commissioner is not sure if there is a correlation at the moment.

The NBA reportedly has considered shortening its season from 82 games to 78 games and implementing an in-season tournament.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi reported in December that an in-season tournament would begin with pool play as part of the regular-season schedule. Teams with the best records would go on to a single-elimination tournament that would end before Christmas.

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