NBA Sends Proposal For Tournament, Schedule Changes To Teams

6:53pm: The NBA has sent the proposed changes for the 2021/22 season to all teams, including a 78-game regular season, an in-season tournament, a play-in tournament for the No. 7 and 8 playoff spots, and reseeding the playoff semifinal teams based on regular-season record, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

A $1.5MM bonus would be given to the coaching staff of the in-season tournament champion, Charania adds. He also provides a few more details on how the proposed in-season tournament would work.

4:00 pm: As the NBA ponders ways to make an in-season tournament work, one idea being discussed is a payout of $1MM per player to the winning team of that tournament, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. As Wojnarowski explains, the league is hopeful that such a significant financial incentive would motivate players to “treat a new tournament with a competitive fervor.”

Per Wojnarowski, the NBA is mulling the possibility of a tournament that would begin with pool play as part of the regular-season schedule. The six divisional winners – based on pool-play records – and the two teams with the next-best records in pool play would then advance to an eight-team, single-elimination tournament. The club that wins all three of its knockout-round matchups would be the tournament champion, and each of that club’s players would receive $1MM.

The idea comes with some potential complications. As ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes (via Twitter), about half the NBA’s players earn less than $4MM and would likely be highly motivated by a $1MM prize, but it’s not clear whether stars making upwards of $30-40MM per season would fully buy in. According to Wojnarowski, there’s a belief that some players might prefer the five-day break – for teams that don’t qualify for the single-elimination tournament – rather than trying to compete for a winner-take-all financial prize.

Team owners, particularly in large markets, are also concerned about whether an in-season tournament would generate enough revenue to make up for potentially losing two regular-season home games, says Wojnarowski. If a tournament is introduced, most teams would likely only play 78 or 79 regular-season games.

The NBA’s Board of Governors appears to be more aligned on the concept of a postseason play-in tournament for the seventh and eighth seeds and the idea of reseeding the conference finals, Woj notes.

The league continues to work toward instituting scheduling changes for the 2021/22 season. In order for that goal to be achieved, the Board of Governors would have to approve them at their meeting in April, per ESPN. At least 23 of 30 teams would have to vote in favor of the changes, and the players’ union would need to be on board as well.

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16 thoughts on “NBA Sends Proposal For Tournament, Schedule Changes To Teams

  1. x%sure

    Every team, 82 games, even if it’s backups playing. No “Silver” games to contend with statistically.

  2. Theone23

    The worst idea I have ever heard in my life. Would probably stop watching basketball if this amateur nonsense is implemented. What a joke.

    • ColossusOfClout

      The in season tournament is just plain weird, but if knocking the college basketball tournament system then you must be American, because it’s awesome.

      • ColossusOfClout

        *if you’re knocking
        *not be American

        Sorry for the errors, I’m usually a better proof reader.

  3. signal_lost

    I don’t see how you could do a full nba tournament in a few games. But I can see how you could do 6 small tournaments at the same time. If the tournament was by division then it could be 4 game round robin with a championship game. Then have a Christmas type lineup of games on one day except these games would be the final game for each division tournament.
    This would encourage division rivalries. I’d watch those games. Then you could reduce the season to 76 gamesish. Perhaps add some kind of other benefit for the winner like some tie breaker advantage or something like that.

  4. futuremvp

    I just don’t understand where this notion that something needs to be done with the 82-games format comes from. Why the sense of urgency? I am not from USA, so maybe my impression could be wrong, but the way I see it, the league is actually at its peak, at least financially speaking. Players are making crazy dollars, and owners still run profitable businesses. Don’t try to fix it if it is not broken.

    • greenbowlpacker

      Top players making crazy dollars. 6-10 players on every team make less than 4 million, while top two on team making 25-30 million. I would like to see money more evenly shared. Teams then rest stars and lower paid players get grinded. Teams manage stars because of huge investment. Players union needs to address this issue in next deal

  5. Bosoxfan9

    Why FIX what aint BROKE. Leave well enough ALONE.Adam must be BORED or Something…

  6. iamoldboy

    A play-in for playoff bubble teams okay, but if not that, what’s the point.

  7. How has this idea gotten any traction? It is the dumbest idea ever.

    There is no reason to switch up what has worked forever. What about this generates more interest? Its not going to generate any more money.

    Terrible idea all around.

  8. HubcapDiamondStarHalo

    Wonder what will happen when the first max-salary superstar gets injured during the midseason tournament…

  9. mcmillankmm

    I’d rather see them just shorten the regular season by 4-8 games…it’s way too long as it is… then you cut down on back-to-backs

    • greenbowlpacker

      Then you are lowering revenue. This lowers players percentage of revenue. How do owners replace loss of money from cutting 4-8 games?

  10. phillyballers

    1M for 3 games? They get their salary regardless. So how is that a hard sell? Fear of getting hurt, then load manage.

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