At a press conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver floated the idea of the league adding a midseason tournament that would be similar to domestic cups in European soccer.
There are zero specifics about the plan, which is clearly in the earliest possible stages of development. We have no idea how it would work or when it would be played or what the stakes would be or which teams would be allowed to enter.
All we know about the plan comes from Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, who says the idea is to “give teams a chance to win a title other than the NBA Finals.”
We’re behind this idea 100%.
The NBA regular season is too long and monotonous, with too many weeks-long stretches with no meaningful games at all.
In England, the FA Cup — a huge tournament that every registered team in the country can enter — runs concurrently with the Premier League season. Every few weeks the Premier League takes a weekend off and FA Cup games are played.
Something like this would be perfect for the NBA regular season. Imagine if there were regular breaks for tournament games from November through March. Not only would it give fans high-stakes basketball during the dog days of the NBA season, it would give bad NBA teams something to play for.
In an era where teams like the Sixers are sacrificing entire seasons for the sake of long-term flexibility, it gives fans of hopeless teams something to root for right now. The Sixers have no chance of competing for a championship over a 82-game season. But in a single-elimination tournament, anything can happen. To take it a step further, imagine if D-League teams were allowed to enter. You’d get the sort of cinderella stories that make the FA Cup worth watching.
Winning an NBA Cup (or whatever they call it) is never going to be as important as winning an NBA title. But it doesn’t have to be for the idea to be successful. If the tournament breaks up the monotony of the regular season and gets people interested in basketball at a time when they otherwise wouldn’t have been, it’s worth doing.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.