Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban hopes 44-minute games don’t get past the preseason experiment stage in the NBA.
“I can’t get enough NBA,” Cuban told ESPNDallas.com via the Cyber Dust messaging app. “Best entertainment in the world. So more is better.”
The Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics will play a 44-minute game Sunday -– four minutes shorter than the standard NBA game -– as the league tests a format with fewer minutes and fewer mandatory timeouts.
NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn said in a statement that the league office is following up on a suggestion from the recent coaches’ meeting to consider a shorter format for games.
Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters Tuesday that the length of games isn’t nearly as concerning as squeezing so many games into a short period of time, forcing many teams to play more than 20 back-to-backs in an 82-game season.
Cuban, who goes to great lengths looking for ways to help extend players’ careers, understood Spoelstra's point about the value of games but noted that trimming the NBA schedule would have a wide-reaching economic impact.
"More games are always a risk," Cuban said. "But we play in facilities and employ a lot of people who benefit from those games.”