The Los Angeles Lakers are entering the All-Star break with a bit of optimism following their victory over the New Orleans Pelicans. Darvin Ham’s team is looking to make a playoff push once things get back going, but there won’t be much time for the Lakers to turn things around.
One would assume All-Star Weekend would come around the midway point of the season, but this year’s break comes around the three-quarter mark of the season, much later than usual which has now led to questions about the NBA schedule as a whole. Some have called for the season to be shortened, but Ham believes there is another solution.
“I don’t know if I would want to shorten the season. I just think we need to take a page of the NFL’s book and create some type of bye week,” the Lakers head coach said. “Because looking at the schedule now, I know there’s certain factors like television contracts and just the NBA being viewed as not wanting to be in too much competition with the other sports, you’re gonna have that for a while. You see football just ended with the Super Bowl that in turn pushes back the [NBA] All-Star break. The NFL adding an extra game to their season pushed their season back which in turn makes our All-Star break come a little bit later.”
All professional sports leagues look at the calendars of others and try not to have their major events overlap. As Ham noted, the NBA doesn’t want to have All-Star Weekend coincide with the NFL playoffs or Super Bowl so it gets pushed back leading to what we have now. But Ham really believes having another break earlier in the season would be beneficial to the league as a whole.
“Tonight is our 59th game so that’s three-quarters of the season right there once we do get a break,” Ham added. “I would love to see the NBA create some type of bye week for teams. And I know there’s talks about doing an in-season tournament and all that, and I think you can still do all of that. But to allow a team, whether it’s four or five days to just rest, get practice in, just take a break from the travel. It’s a lot of factors and I think that would be very, very useful and very welcomed.”
Some sort of bye week would be an interesting concept as it would give teams a little time to rest and heal up, but wouldn’t be an entire league stoppage. With a lot of complaints being given about load management, this could be a way to lessen that as well.
The league has been open about making changes to how they operate in recent years under Commissioner Adam Silver and there is no doubt that Ham, the Lakers, and the rest of the league would likely love to see something implemented that gives them a bit more rest during the year.
Darvin Ham to use All-Star break to further integrate Lakers’ new additions
As for this current All-Star break, the Lakers only representation is LeBron James. But with the team making a number of new additions at the trade deadline, Darvin Ham plans to use this time off to help the team come together even more before the stretch run.
“For sure. My coaching staff and I have talked about that extensively when we were meeting today and digging through the roster and putting different combinations up on the board,” Ham said when asked prior to the Lakers’ win over the Pelicans.
“Absolutely. Not just offensively, but defensively as well having a guy like Vando and another guy like Mo. Just having that extra additional rim protection aside from AD and Wenyen I think is gonna be huge. It’s a fun group when you look at it on paper, so definitely, we’re gonna try to hit the ground running once this break is over with.”
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