CINCINNATI – LeBron James wouldn't mind a shortened NBA schedule. But he isn't a fan of the league's upcoming experiment to shorten games to 44 minutes.
The Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics will play a 44-minute preseason game on Sunday as part of the NBA's experiment. The exhibition will be four minutes shorter than the NBA's standard 48-minute game with four 11-minute quarters, one minute less each than usual. James thinks fewer games would be better for the NBA in the 82-game regular season rather than fewer minutes in a single game.
"It's not the minutes, it's the games," James said. "The minutes don't mean anything. We can play a 50-minute game if we have to. It's just the games. We all as players think it's too many games in our season.
"Eighty-two games are a lot. But it's not the minutes. Taking away minutes from the game isn't going to shorten it at all. Once you go out and play on the floor, it doesn't matter if you're playing 22 minutes … or you play 40 minutes. Once you play, it takes a toll on your body."
James did acknowledge that playing fewer games would also create less revenue for the teams and the players. He liked the 66-game lockout schedule during the 2011-12 NBA season – minus the occasional back-to-back-to-back set, but he didn't have a projected number that he believes would be best for the league.
James also made note of injured All-Stars Kevin Durant and Paul George, and thinks players' health would be aided by fewer games.
"We all know that without seeing the books that less games means less selling of tickets and prices and all of that," James said. "But at the end of the day, we want to protect the prize, and the prize is the players. We have to continue to promote the game and [when] guys are injured because there are so many games, we can't promote it at a high level."