Photo courtesy of @NBAPR via Twitter.

NBA to Implement In-Season Tournament

Over the past weekend, the NBA announced the creation of a new in-season tournament in November and December. The tournament will include all 30 teams, with the semifinals and finals located in Las Vegas.

The Basics

The tournament will begin on November 3.

During the group play stage, the teams will be split into six groups โ€” three from each conference.

In this stage, tournament games are scheduled for Tuesday and Friday nights.

After each team has played four group-stage games โ€” two home and two away โ€” the team with the best record from each group will move on to the quarterfinals. Two wildcard teams, which are the teams with the next-best record in each conference, will accompany those six teams.

After the quarterfinals, when the tournament is down to four teams, they will play the semifinals and finals December 7-9 in Las Vegas.

The Rationale

After the league finalized the plans for the tournament, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver explained that the idea was by no means brand new. He likened the tournament to competitions in international soccer.

With an 82-game season, a lot of casual NBA fans can experience fatigue in anticipation of the NBA Playoffs. This in-season tournament will help add some excitement to the middle months.

Silver also said that the league office had discussed this concept for over a decade before finalizing it. In addition, the talks surrounding the tournament involved the NBA Players Association.

The Reactions

After news of this tournament broke, many fans, players and personalities had opinions on the new development. These opinions ranged from overwhelming support to absolute disgust.

A lot of the players who have reacted are supportive of the idea.

However, sports fans have been on social media complaining about the timing and lack of incentive.

Some say the tournament interferes with the heart of football season. Others say a cash purse will not be enough to incentivize top-tier play.

One thing is certain: They will play the tournament. It remains to be seen whether these controversial opinions will be reversed or strengthened.

About Steven Hieneman

Senior Sports Media/Business Administration dual major at the University of Florida, ESPN Gainesville WRUF sports correspondent.

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