The NBA mid-season tournament can save the regular season

Would an NBA tournament work during the season?

Would an NBA tournament work during the season?
Image: fake images

The modern NBA fan is more likely to be stuck with a Netflix series over the weekend rather than following a network story for 22 episodes. So, of course, watching an 82-game slog seems longer and more tedious than ever. The NBA recognizes this change in attitude and has seen it trickle down to its own workforce. Players are bouncing back mentally and physically early in the year, load management has diluted regular-season product, and Kyrie Irving seemingly dips for a couple of PTO weeks each winter.

Even commissioner Adam Silver thinks the NBA regular season sucks and is trying to spice it up a bit without ruining the recipe entirely. In an interview with Yahoo Sports during the most recent All-Star weekend, Silver broached the idea of ​​permanently shortening the schedule. to incorporate a mid-season tournament.

A 67- to 72-game season, like the one played in 2021, would likely solve their problems, but that’s a tall order for a league that has committed to 82-game seasons since 1967. Owners and players have no interest, either. in reducing gate receipts or basketball-related revenue from those extra home games, no matter how small a percentage of the total pie.

The NBA midseason tournament has been discussed every few months during Silver’s tenure as commissioner. Silver has recently revealed that negotiations have begun with the union about some kind of institution of a midseason tournament, but according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the NBA is considering a midseason tournament starting in 2023.

A midseason cup is coming to the NBA this decade. This is what they should consider before making mistakes.


Regardless of what the NBA decides to do, they will have to thread a needle. A seasonal tournament that detracts from the championship will need incentives for stars to participate, especially those of the contenders. Otherwise, teams will rack up excess mid-season DNP at an even higher rate for their starters by using the tournament to showcase their G League rosters and younger reserves. The last thing the NBA wants to do is come up with something that exacerbates that problem.

So what is the solution? A $1 million bonus for each player has previously been proposed, but NBA rotation players aren’t doing extra work outside of their already set schedule for less than eight figures. The prospect of an additional draft pick for this tournament would be the kind of variable that could motivate star players, especially those stuck on middling but not entirely mediocre teams looking for a path to contention.

the promise of a an additional draft pick has been released It’s not new, but the pick is 15th in the NBA Draft Lottery. Essentially, by winning the mid-season cup, a team would receive the lowest odds in the Draft Lottery. The potential to recruit potential career-altering talent is the only way they’re going to get someone like Dame Lillard or Joel Embiid on the floor for the second half of a back-to-back event in December for more than a cameo if he doesn’t. Does not count for playoff standings. I’ve heard critics like Bill Simmons argue that elite teams wouldn’t mind a draft pick, but that’s myopia. Lebron may not have time to prepare first-round picks, but that’s an asset his Lakers team could weaponize in a trade for a veteran All-Star. To prevent a competitive imbalance from forming from a team’s pick accumulation, the NBA must stipulate that no team can win twice in a row and the reigning champions must be automatically disqualified.

Season Cup, not a mid-season tournament

The G League Showcase Cup is a petri dish of how the NBA’s seasonal tournament would likely run. The G League idea involves four regional pods where teams play 12 games against each other and the four teams with the best winning percentage advance to a single-elimination tournament. It bears a strong resemblance to the WNBA Commissioner’s Cup, which consists of 10 games per team, from the first home and away games, with each team playing against their conference or division rivals. That is an intentional decision on the part of the NBA.

Both Cup proposals are inspired by the European soccer model and would not disrupt the NBA schedule because 90 percent of the tournament would be cleverly integrated into the prodigious NBA schedule. Essentially, the first two games of the regular season against the teams in his pod would double as tournament games in the season. After the points are tallied, the knockout stages begin. It creates another data point for fans to stress about and gives more weight to regular-season games on dog days in December and January.

Single Elimination Tournament

If the NBA wants its NCAA Tournament facsimile to intersect with the Maui Invitational, it might not take as long as it seems. Thirty teams, including two first-round breaks for the top two seeds, would result in an additional five games for the eventual champion. This two-week-long cup could give the NBA’s contingent of fans precisely what they’ve always wanted. A glimpse into a world where the NBA champion is decided in a winner-take-all, single-elimination game and an intra-conference tournament that ignores conference partitions.

If the usual NBA playoffs are the Boston Marathon, this is the 100-meter race. There will be no adjustments heading into Game 2, neutral location games and the audience won’t be fatigued by a marathon playoff run. This would be a sprint. The most exciting thing about this tournament is that, because it will take place over the course of a few games, all it takes is a team that is excited about a Cinderella story.

Battle for the Intercontinental Title

An intercontinental tournament would not live up to the single-elimination idea, but what it lacks in numbers it makes up for in scope. If the NBA wants a groundbreaking midseason tournament, it must span the globe and reach beyond the NBA’s borders. The NBA Finals champion has casually been declared the world champion for decades. That lead dog status has never been in dispute because the NBA has always been the top product, but even that gap is narrowing. The world is catching up in national team competition, but are its national leagues snapping at the NBA’s heels?

Would they play under FIBA ​​rules, NBA rules or a hybrid? That part is what makes it fun. FIBA and NBA rules vary in many ways, but the most significant differences are their shorter 3-point line, five fouls being the personal foul limit instead of six, no lane violations allowed, and they allow goals outside the rim. For greater fairness, they can alternate each year between the two.

According to records, the top four teams in the NBA should defend the NBA’s right to call their champions world champions against the top four in the EuroLeague. For example, a tournament in 2022 would have featured a top-seeded FC Barcelona team led by Nikola Mirotić, Dante Exum and Alex Abrines. Olympiacos Piraeus, AX Armani Exchange Milan would have rounded out the top four teams lining up for single-elimination matchups against the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies. Eight teams, three games. NBA players have enough pride in their league to play three more games when the NBA’s ability to call the winner of the finals the world champion is on the line. At worst, this idea is a few decades too early and elite EuroLeague teams will tire of watching their best teams fade away as one of young Mike Tyson’s sparring partners.

end of elam

Yes, this Kraken has risen. However, the NBA should go for this concept only for the knockout rounds. To differentiate the mid-season cup competition from anything else in basketball, including The distinguished Copa del Rey de España tournament, the end of Elam should be how the Cup knockout phase matches should conclude.

For the uninitiated, the Elam Ending was created by Nick Elam, founder of The Basketball Tournament and co-opted by the NBA for its All-Star Game. Elam’s ending would essentially replace the clock in the final frame. Instead, a target score would be set based on the score at the start of the quarter and the first team to reach the target score wins. For example, the All-Star Game sets the Target Score at 24 points higher than the leading team’s total after three quarters. For example, if the Blazers beat Orlando 100-95 after three quarters, the target score would be 124.

It doesn’t interfere with the basic principles of basketball and creates an opportunity for more electrifying endings. If Adam Silver is going to optimize the sport, optimize it completely.

Leave a Comment