HoopsHype Schedule rumors

November 15, 2014 Updates

The Nets haven't seen this many crowns since ... well, never. They're the Nets after all. Prince William and Princess Kate will swing by the Dec. 8 game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Barclays Center in Brooklyn while they're in town. The British royals will see the NBA's version of royalty: King James. The couple, who will be in the United States from Dec. 7-9, plan to attend the game, according to a news release issued by the British government. It will mark the first visit to New York for the couple, who will visit the Sept. 11 memorial. Newark Star-Ledger

November 13, 2014 Updates

Roberts also would like to keep investigating the prospect of shortening the 82-game season, a desire already expressed by superstars such as LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki. "Every time a player gets hurt, I think, my God, they really are pushing their bodies," she said. "And back-to-backs, those are the ones I really find disturbing. ... So the answer, of course, is that everybody wants a shorter season. The tension is, Will that mean less money? And that's something we need to talk about and think about. ... I don't think it would hurt the game to shorten the season." NBA.com

November 11, 2014 Updates

The Minnesota Timberwolves will make their second attempt to play a regular-season game in Mexico City, after last year's game with the San Antonio Spurs was canceled because of smoke inside Mexico City Arena. The Timberwolves will face the Houston Rockets on Wednesday in the same venue where a short circuit in a generator room sent fumes inside the building during warmups. NBA Mexico director Raul Zarraga says "stricter measures" have been taken to "prevent this from happening again." ESPN.com

November 10, 2014 Updates

"People don't understand that," said Wizards forward Paul Pierce, who was 3 of 15 from the floor. "Everybody looks at it and says, 'Well, they should really handle the Indiana Pacers; they don't have a lot of their stars.' But you have to travel. You get home at 3, 4 o'clock in the morning. You don't get a good night's sleep; the kids wake you up at 6:45. And then you have to go out and perform. Nothing about that is easy." NBA.com

Asking current and former players and coaches which of the two is worse is like asking which method of medieval torture you'd prefer. "Back to backs," Raptors Coach Dwane Casey said. "It's harder on the body." A former NBA coach agreed. "If there were no back to backs, then there could be no four in five," the former coach said. "If they could limit the back to backs to five to seven per season, it would improve the quality of play over the long run." NBA.com

Athletic trainers see the impact of back to backs traveling from West to East. But others believe the longer four-in-five stretch is more debilitating. "Four in five nights," one current general manager said. "Back to backs are tough, but not as bad as four in five. Fatigue is a lot greater at the end of the four in five." The brutal travel every NBA team has, even though every team uses charter service, also weighs on players playing four in five. "You can be in four different cities," former player Mario Elie said. "Different time zones." NBA.com

November 1, 2014 Updates

Adam Silver: “I’ve learned the hard way, not necessarily to trust my gut and look at the data. I think that’s where analytics came in. When we were kids guys took the entire summer off and training camp was the chance to lose a few pounds that you gained over the summer, and truly get back in shape. I don’t think anyone would suggest today that the fact that guys did virtually nothing during the summer was better health wise. Finding that right balance, even if players don’t participate with their national teams during the summer or aren’t actively playing, they’re working out hard. Sometimes what I’ve heard from some trainers is the repetitiveness of some of the things they’re doing on their own instead of playing games isn’t necessarily good for their tendons or muscle. We need more science here, that’s something the league is taking more seriously." Basketball Insiders

October 31, 2014 Updates

But Young has stayed away from the NBA. He says many of the top sports scientists feel that, due to the demanding schedule and management's narrow-mindedness about player fatigue, working in the NBA ends up being little more than a fool's errand. "I haven't heard great things about the NBA as a place for sports scientists to work," Young says. "It's very difficult to get things done. A lot of the sports science guys I know in the league are trying to leave. They find themselves placed in positions where they're glorified stretching coaches." ESPN.com

Making matters worse is the sleep deprivation that comes with traveling overnight. The health risks are real: studies have shown that going 24 hours without sleep has the same impairment effect of a 0.10 blood alcohol level, which is considered to be legally drunk. The same effect is seen after several nights of having as little as four hours of sleep. "With all those games and all that travel, you're constantly recovering," Young says. "Unless you're cycling lineups, which I've never heard of, guys just don't get a chance to recover." ESPN.com

Young suggests the NBA adopt a 60-game schedule that eliminates back-to-backs entirely and cuts down on travel significantly. From Young's perspective, teams should play no more than two or three games a week. "That'd be very light for the NBA," Young says. "The performance dropoff is pretty steep as you play more, and likelihood of injury goes way up. If you are the team that played three games, vs. the team that played two, your likelihood of injury is much higher, and your likelihood of winning is lower." ESPN.com

October 22, 2014 Updates

NBA stars LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki reacted to the league's decision to schedule a 44-minute game saying it's the regular season, not the games, that should be shortened. Is that a widespread opinion among players? We asked 28 NBAers to find out. Result: They are split on the debate with 42.9 percent saying regular season should stay at its usual 82 games and 57.1 suggesting that's too much. HoopsHype

October 21, 2014 Updates

The National Basketball Assn. is considering rescheduling some marquee basketball games in order to grow audiences in China. The possible move emerged as the organization unveiled a multi-year partnership with China’s Ministry of Education to develop sports educational in China. The education deal is expected to provide enhanced fitness and basketball training to at least 3 million school and college students by 2017. Variety.com

October 20, 2014 Updates
October 19, 2014 Updates
October 15, 2014 Updates

The NBA will experiment with a 44-minute game Sunday when the Nets play host to the Celtics "to examine the flow" of a shorter contest. "It's interesting," Thibodeau said. "I'm curious myself how it plays out. In some ways, the technology (we have) has been great but it also has prolonged the game. "(Commissioner) Adam Silver is very open-minded. There's part of me that likes (the idea) a lot. And there's also a part of me that thinks about the tradition of the game and the records and the history. That's where there's conflict. But the intent is good." Chicago Tribune

October 9, 2014 Updates

However, these exhibitions are less about competition and more about marketing. The NBA has embraced international expansion, with the league even considering earlier tip-offs to accommodate fans abroad. The NBA is also continuing to stage regular-season games abroad (this season in Mexico and England) in an effort to provide international fans the chance to see its stars in person. Though these trips force teams to lose home-court advantage, they provide ample opportunity to connect with fans abroad. The NBA’s international fan base is exploding; the 2014 Finals were broadcast to 215 countries and in 47 languages. Individual teams and players have made extra efforts to connect with foreign fans, perhaps none more successfully than Kobe Bryant in China. The Fields of Green

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.