NBA games may not last as long as baseball, hockey and football games, yet a constant gripe among even the hardcore of hoop fans is how long the final minutes of a game usually last.
Often times it's because coaches call numerous timeouts to draw up what could be game-winning plays and make important substitutions. There is nothing wrong with coaches wanting to get the edge strategically. However, the back-to-back timeouts from opposing teams sometimes makes a game drag on. And even then, there are replay situations and teams fouling one another to stop the clock. All of this combined can make the last two minutes of the game actually take a considerable amount time.
The NBA is well aware of this issue and how it creates angst among a certain subsection of their fan base. And since the NBA is quite progressive and forward thinking, commissioner Adam Silver said on Thursday that the league is considering making some changes mainly because those gosh darn young millennials are tuning out and losing focus during the end of games.
From ESPN.com's Tom Hamilton:
"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." [...]
"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. "The short answer to your question is we are going to take a fresh look at the format, specifically in the last two minutes."
Silver said the NBA's competition committee reviews such matters and takes them to the league's full board of owners.
"It's something that we track very closely," Silver said. "In the league office we time out 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 did not offer a timeline or an inkling of the types of changes that could be possible. But streamlining the replay process even more and limiting the number of timeouts in the last two minutes of a game are a couple of hypothetical scenarios that could work.
The NBA has always been innovative and creative when trying to improve all aspects of game play, so whatever changes are made in the future, will likely be beneficial. And remember, the NBA as a whole is a form of entertainment, which is why the league is always trying to make itself more entertaining to their fans. Even to those millennials, who have may only read the headline to this story.