NEW YORK — In a move sure to delight basketball fans around the globe, the schedule for the 2012-13 season was released Thursday night. Following strict orders from the league office and commissioner David Stern, each and every NBA team was given exactly 82 games. “After last year’s shortened season, some people might have forgot,” said Stern, “but this is literally how we always do it. 82 games per team, per season. Even for the Bobcats.”
Perhaps most unsurprising is the nature of the games, which will see the league’s most noteworthy teams playing games on the season’s most important days. That includes Opening Night games for the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers as well as Christmas Day games for the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers.
Additionally, each team’s schedule will follow the same structure, with the teams playing most teams in their conference four times and each team in the opposing conference just twice. Deputy commissioner Adam Silver told reporters, “Yep, that’s how we do it every season. People should have been expecting this. It’s not a big deal.”
As expected, the league scheduled more nationally televised games for teams with larger fan bases. Shocking no one, the New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat tallied the most of these marquee games with 25 each. According to Stern, “We always give newsworthy teams more games on national TV because that’s how TV works.” Furthermore, there are indeed games on the schedule that will feature matchups between storied rivals, pit last season’s playoff teams against each other and showcase the return of since-departed players to their former teams.
Reached for comment, more than 550 bloggers tweeted links to their “10 Must-See Games of the Season.”