Tyrese Haliburton performed 22 minutes and alter on Tuesday night time. A hamstring harm has been nagging him for many of January. Haliburton has missed 10 of the Indiana Pacers’ final 11 video games. Normally, there can be no problem with him needing 15-20 video games to completely get better from a soft-tissue harm. Actually, at no time in NBA historical past would that be a problem, aside from this present season.
Haliburton signed a nine-figure contract extension over the summer season and has since performed at a borderline MVP degree. Making his first All-NBA staff can be a digital certainty, aside from the truth that he has missed 11 video games. Starting with the 2023-24 season, with a view to be eligible for regular-season honors akin to All-NBA, All-Protection and MVP, a participant should not solely play in no less than 65 video games, but in addition no less than 20 minutes in each sport besides for 2. The NBA permits the leeway of two video games during which a participant clocks solely quarter-hour.
An All-NBA season would give Haliburton a $40 million increase over the lifetime of his extension — he’s at the moment enjoying below the ultimate 12 months of his rookie contract. Apart from lacking 11 video games, he additionally solely logged 13 minutes the night time that he first got here up gimpy towards the Boston Celtics in early January.
Haliburton will not be the one participant who compelled his manner onto the courtroom Tuesday night time. Joel Embiid has been coping with a knee problem. He’s already enjoying on a supermax contract, however he possible desires one other MVP award. Embiid has lobbied arduous for it previously, and was delivered to tears after lastly profitable it final season. All through his whole profession, well being has been a battle. He actually didn’t go well with up for a sport throughout his first two seasons.
With these new guidelines, Embiid went forward and limped his manner up and down the courtroom towards the Golden State Warriors on an ailing left knee. Late within the fourth quarter, Jonathan Kuminga fell on prime of it. Philadelphia 76ers coach Nick Nurse mentioned that Embiid will endure an MRI on Wednesday, and likewise that the present knee points are unrelated to the previous one.
On Monday, Haliburton advised The Athletic’s James Boyd that the 65-game minimal for awards is “a stupid rule.”
That is what the NBA desires. The push for 82. Gamers’ salaries and legacies are on the road as a result of the league is addressing an issue that doesn’t exist. For one, award voters already contemplate what number of video games gamers play when casting their ballots. Zion Willamson performed in addition to anybody within the league throughout the 2022-23 season. However since he missed the ultimate 44 video games, there was no manner he was going to be voted to an All-NBA staff.
The NBA airs a number of nationally televised video games per week. Final season, it averaged 1.59 million viewers per primetime sport, and its seven Saturday night time ABC video games averaged 2.8 million viewers. On this tv financial system, sustaining that kind of stability will not be commonplace. Per a 2023 Sports activities Media Watch research, NBA primetime tv rankings have fluctuated between 2.5 and 1.5 million viewers because the 2002-03 season.
Whereas the NBA product will not be excellent, there was no want for an overhaul. And there was definitely no have to mess with participant contracts to attempt to juice rankings for one of many steadiest applications on tv.
Haliburton is one hundred pc proper. This man is taking a star flip this season and as he turns into extra of a family identify, a foul hammy may cost him $40 million. Additionally, final 12 months’s MVP now wants an MRI to guage the harm brought on by a blow to a knee that was already on the harm report.
The NBA is an expert sports activities league. Gamers make a dwelling by taking part in bodily exercise. A season can final eight months. To win an NBA Championship, a staff has to play 82 regular-season video games, and after that, at minimal, be victorious in 16 out of a possible 28 extra within the spring. Seeds 7-10 in each conferences take part in a Play-In Event earlier than the playoffs start.
What the NBA received’t focus on is shortening the common season, or possibly even going again to a best-of-five within the first spherical of the playoffs. Throughout Magic Johnson’s rookie season, the Los Angeles Lakers performed in three best-of-seven collection to win the championship. That by no means will get introduced up when discussing how gamers previously didn’t have such an issue with the schedule regardless that they flew coach.
There are all types of the way the NBA might enhance the regular-season viewing expertise. The conclusion that it landed on was to succeed in its hand right into a rising star’s pocket.