Warriors' Steve Kerr 'open-minded' to proposed NBA schedule changes

Monte Poole

SAN FRANCISCO – The concept of the NBA altering its schedule to include an in-season tournament while also adding a play-in postseason game has definite appeal to Warriors coach Steve Kerr.

He is, however, holding a caution sign in one hand while voting "in favor" with the other.

"I'd have to see details first," Kerr said Friday, before tipoff at Chase Center against the Pelicans. ‘I'm open-minded about it. The league is always looking to improve its product and it's a good idea to explore these things. But haven't seen any details as to what it would entail, so it's hard to comment."

The changes proposed by the NBA would be installed no sooner than the 2021-22 season. Here are, according to multiple published reports, some key points:

1) A 78-game season.

2) An early-season tournament involving all 30 teams, played between Thanksgiving and mid-December, with the top eight advancing to the final round. The final two rounds would be played at a neutral site.

3) A $1 million payout to each of the players on the winning team.

4) Those teams advancing to the conference finals in the postseason would be reseeded based on regular-season records, regardless of conference.

5) Play-in games for the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds, soft of a wild-card format.

"I'm a fan of the wildcard in baseball especially after they tweaked it," Kerr said. "I like the one-game playoff. Something like that would definitely make things more interesting.

"Like I said, I'm really open-minded to all that stuff and I think the league is really looking into everything and exploring what we might do to make the season more interesting."

What the proposal wouldn't do, at least for most teams, is shorten the season – despite consistent conversation on that topic. Warriors COO Rick Welts during a guest appearance on Warriors Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area conceded that only some teams would have shorter schedule, while the schedule of others could be extended.

"It would for the four teams that participated in the final games of the tournament, the final four would have additional games," Welts said. "But it would cut the rest of the league's schedule to 78 games. Listen, give Adam [Silver] a little credit here. He's willing to consider anything that will make the game better."

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With TV ratings down and load management becoming an unwanted trend, the primary purpose of the proposed changes is to intensify fan and player interest in the regular season.

The proposal is being examined by the 30 teams. Passing it would require a two-thirds vote of the teams as well as approval of the NBA Players Association.

Warriors' Steve Kerr 'open-minded' to proposed NBA schedule changes originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area