Michael Jordan isn’t feeling this talk of shortening the NBA season, saying 82 games was never an issue for him when he was playing.

LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki have recently spoken out publicly in support of a shorter season. But MJ says that as young man, his desire to play was all-consuming.

“I love both of those guys, but as an owner who played the game, I loved playing,” he said. “If I wasn’t playing 82 games, I still would’ve been playing somewhere else because that’s the love for the game I had. As a player, I never thought 82 games was an issue.”

Of course, Jordan is a businessman now. More specifically, he’s an NBA team owner who would lose out from a shorter season.

“If that’s what they want to do, we as owners and players can evaluate it and talk about it,” he said. “But we’d make less money as partners. Are they ready to give up money to play fewer games? That’s the question, because you can’t make the same amount of money playing fewer games.”

Following Nowitzki’s comments, Forbes had a stab at how much his team, the Dallas Mavericks, might lose as a result of fewer games.

The math seems undeniable: with the Mavs making about $2 million per game, reducing the season from 82 to 66 games implies about $30 million less in team revenue, give or take some for some revenues like the playoffs that might not change. Players like James and Nowitzki seem willing to accept this tradeoff for a less fatiguing season.

The NBA may not be ready to embrace a shorter season just yet. But this Sunday, the Nets and Celtics will play a pre-season game with a length of only 44 minutes, eliminating one minute from each quarter as well as two timeouts overall. In a release announcing the changes, NBA President of Basketball Operations Rod Thorn said that it was a study to “give us some preliminary data that will help us to further analyze game-time lengths.”

Image: Nike

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