Skip to content

Winderman: Time for shorter NBA training camps

Sep 25, 2012, 12:36 PM EST

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game Five Getty Images

The list of players who will miss the start of training camp is significant, everyone from Chris Paul to Al Harrington to possibly Dwyane Wade. Each, though, could be back for the start of the regular season.

Which either means the offseason is too short or camp is too long.

Yet here we are, on the verge of the NBA’s first full training camp in two years, left to wonder whether there might be a happy medium between the one-week camp the lockout produced last December and the four weeks we’re about to embark upon.

For as much as coaches are embracing a return to the previous normalcy, what they truly embrace is the time spent in the gym, at practice, not the nonsense masquerading as exhibition play.

Because it is the exhibitions, and all that goes with them, that get in the way.

Take the Mavericks. They will open camp Saturday in Dallas but then leave the following Wednesday for Europe, where they will play a pair of exhibitions. It hardly allows for much in the way of continuity, although it could mean a couple of home-cooked meals for Dirk.

To a degree, the NBA got it right last year with a home-and-home pair of exhibitions against a geographically close rival. For most veterans, especially those about to embark on an 82-game marathon, two is about right, although some might want one or two more.

But just as the NFL’s preseason is twice as long as it needs to be with football’s four exhibitions, the NBA’s maximum of eight also is excessive.

Remove the travel to the Dakotas, other hinterlands and those college campuses, and there would be more time for the actual work of becoming a team honed for the regular season.

Of course, that also wouldn’t generate as much preseason revenue, revenue that solely goes to the owners, with paychecks not starting for most players until the regular season.

Two weeks of camp/preseason would allow the NBA to get started on better footing, with those feet not as sore when what matters actually begins.

Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. You can follow him on Twitter at @IraHeatBeat.

Latest Posts
  1. PBT Extra: How would the NBA benefit from legalized sports betting?

    Nov 20, 2014, 8:15 PM EST

    Adam Silver Adam Silver

    Adam Silver’s support for legalized sports betting is making him unpopular in some circles.

  2. Seven Grizzlies players questionable Friday with stomach virus

    Nov 20, 2014, 7:30 PM EST

    Tony Allen Tony Allen

    The virus has affected almost half of Memphis’ roster.

  3. Kevin Love: “I’m just trying to find myself in this offense”

    Nov 20, 2014, 6:45 PM EST

    Enes Kanter, Kevin Love Enes Kanter, Kevin Love

    Love is averaging 16.7 points per game in his first year with the Cavs.

  4. NBPA ready to appeal Jeffery Taylor’s 24-game suspension

    Nov 20, 2014, 6:00 PM EST

    Jeffery Taylor Jeffery Taylor

    NBPA director Michele Roberts calls the suspension “excessive.”

  5. Kobe Bryant says he and Kevin Durant didn’t mean what they said about Dwight Howard

    Nov 20, 2014, 3:40 PM EST

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

    Rockets star has taken plenty of verbal abuse lately from opposing players

  6. Players union, after Jason Kidd’s negotiations, looking into agents representing coaches and players

    Nov 20, 2014, 1:21 PM EST

    Milwaukee Bucks v Brooklyn Nets Getty Images

    Current National Basketball Players Association rule forbids agents from representing players and coaches

  7. Doc Rivers: Magic’s Nikola Vucevic ‘is an all-star’

    Nov 20, 2014, 11:20 AM EST

    Los Angeles Clippers v Orlando Magic Los Angeles Clippers v Orlando Magic

    Clippers coach: ‘He’s probably the best player in the league that nobody knows’

  8. Shabazz Muhammad skies to slam one-handed alley-oop

    Nov 20, 2014, 9:00 AM EST

    Shabazz Muhammad Shabazz Muhammad

    Corey Brewer throws pass just low enough to avoid a turnover, high enough to make Muhammad look good

Featured video

Can Rockets, Grizzlies keep up hot starts?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Rose (8570)
  2. D. Wade (7286)
  3. K. Durant (6824)
  4. N. Young (5890)
  5. R. Westbrook (5877)
  1. T. Jones (5873)
  2. I. Shumpert (5505)
  3. B. Beal (5404)
  4. K. Bryant (5279)
  5. J. Calderon (4925)