NBA’s 65-Game Policy for Awards Boosts Playing Time, Says Commissioner Adam Silver

Commissioner Adam Silver praises the impact of the NBA’s 65-game policy on player participation, emphasizing its role in determining eligibility for prestigious awards such as MVP, All-NBA Team, Defensive Player of the Year, All-Defensive Team, and Most Improved Player.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver expressed confidence in the positive influence of the league’s recently implemented 65-game policy, stating that the regulations are achieving their intended objectives. The policy stipulates that players must generally participate in at least 65 games to be considered eligible for postseason accolades.

During his annual All-Star weekend news conference on Saturday night, Silver highlighted the notable increase in player participation this season under the new rules. Intriguingly, he also noted a decrease in injuries, showcasing a positive correlation between the policy and player well-being.

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While the impact has been evident, some players are already feeling the consequences. Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, a reigning MVP, and two-time scoring champion, will not qualify for these honors due to insufficient game appearances. Indiana’s Tyrese Haliburton faces potential financial implications in his next contract, and Miami’s Jimmy Butler’s chances at awards recognition have diminished due to missed games.

Despite the positive effects acknowledged by Silver, opinions among players vary. Denver center Nikola Jokic voiced his dissatisfaction, stating, “I just don’t like it, how it forces players to play if they’re injured to achieve something.”

The 65-game rule, collectively bargained with the NBA Players Association, became effective this season, impacting eligibility for major awards. Silver mentioned the league’s customary practice of reviewing new policies after the initial year and expressed openness to potential adjustments.

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Boston forward Jaylen Brown shared his perspective, suggesting a balance in the number of required games for award eligibility. “Honestly, I do believe that if you win any type of award, I think you should have to play a significant amount of the season,” Brown said. “Maybe 65 games might be a little too severe. Maybe they lessen it to 58 or something like that.” The ongoing discourse highlights the ongoing effort to strike a balance between encouraging player participation and ensuring fair recognition for outstanding achievements.

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