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Charles Barkley strongly argues against players resting: “We can't have this load management, it's not fair to the fans it's not fair to the game”

LIV Golf Invitational - Bedminster - Pro-Am
Charles Barkley at the LIV Golf Invitational - Bedminster - Pro-Am.

The NBA has changed plenty since Charles Barkley was in his prime.

Since the turn of the millennium, the game slowly became a lot less physical, and contact was increasingly discouraged. High scoring, faster pace and small lineups have become increasingly common, and outside scoring is now the lay of the land.

However, when asked what three things he would change about the NBA today, Charles Barkley's answer focused on much broader and practical aspects of the NBA, primarily to augment the viewing experience.

In an interview with Bleacher Report's Taylor Rooks, Barkley stated:

"One of my pet peeves is ticket prices. you cannot raise your ticket prices if you don't finish above .500. First and foremost, that would be my thing.
"Secondly, we can't have this load management, it's not fair to the fans. it's not fair to the game, you need to play. To make tens of millions of dollars to play 82 basketball games, you know. "
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Barkley further added that during Adam Silver's tenure, playing back-to-back games was made optional, and that because that was the case, players should be playing all the games.

Barkley further added:

"Number three, I would probably shorten the season, play 70 games because they add in playoff games, you can make up the difference in that.
"I wouldn't start the season until Christmas because number one, nothing can beat the NFL, it's on a whole another planet but college football is really popular and significant also. "

The NBA adjusting its season schedule according to the NFL season is something we have witnessed quite often, and over 11 games are scheduled on Friday just to adjust for this reason.

Amount of NBA gamesYesterday: 13Today: 1Tomorrow: 11Guess which day the NFL is on. https://t.co/u3VklSK1R7

How much has the NBA changed since the time of Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley?

Charles Barkley at the Capital One's The Match: Champions For Change.
Charles Barkley at the Capital One's The Match: Champions For Change.

Charles Barkley's comments about NBA players suiting up sparingly are true. Michael Jordan played 82 games six times in his career, Karl Malone did so 10 times, and David Robinson four, just to name a few.

The likes of Stephen Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Luka Doncic, on the other hand, haven't a played an entire 82 game season in their entire careers.

But the NBA has also changed significantly in its playstyle, as can be inferred from how frequently people engage in certain playtypes as opposed to others. Post-ups are a thing of the past and even bigs are called on to stretch the floor today.

While the playtype tracking data on the NBA's website only goes back to the 2015-16 season, we can still discern a discrepancy in certain playtypes. For instance, the most anyone posts up today is the Portland Trail Blazer's Jusuf Nurkic, with a frequency of just 37.3%.

In 2015-16, this frequency was significantly higher, with the likes of Al Jefferson posting up with a frequency north of 50%.

Outside shooting has certainly taken precendence over under-the-rim basketball, shot-quality is something that is more focused on as teams nowadays exclusively look for layups, corner 3-pointers and free throws.

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Edited by Rajdeep Barman
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