Just months after the NFL announced changes to speed up the pace of games to make the experience more enjoyable for fans, the NBA has decided to follow suit.
On Wednesday, the league announced several rule changes, including reducing timeouts and changing mandatory television timeouts. According to the Washington Post, the league’s Board of Governors unanimously approved to decrease the number of timeouts from 18 to 14. The board has agreed to television timeouts after the seven- and three-minute marks of each quarter. But, now, instead of three timeouts in the final two minutes, teams will be allowed two timeouts in the final three. In addition, the
“20 second” time out has been nixed from the game. All time outs, which will not be called “team timeouts” will be 75 seconds.
“I would say, in this case, we’re pretty happy with the length of our game,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said. “We were more focused here on the pace and flow of the game. What we heard from our fans and heard from many of our teams was that the end of the games in particular were too choppy.
“I think since I was a kid, that’s an issue people have been talking about, the last two minutes of our game. . . We think these new changes will have significant impact, especially at the end of the game.”
“I think these things help the competition of the game, will help us from a fan standpoint in terms of the flow, and also satisfies our network partners,” Silver added.
In addition to the change in game timing, the league has also changed the trade deadline to the Thursday, 10 days before the All-Star Game this forthcoming season.
“The motivation for moving the trade deadline before All-Star [Weekend] was the sense that it was more unsettling to have a player traded right after the all-star break, that the all-star break would have been an opportunity for the player to move himself, his family, get his family readjusted and get readjusted to the new team when they have that four-or five-day period to do that,” the commissioner added.
This season will begin a bit earlier to spread out travel during the season. The 2017-18 season will begin on Oct. 17.