After the new play-in tournament proved to be something of a ratings bonanza this week, the NBA appears hopeful that it can come to an agreement with the National Basketball Players’ Association about creating a midseason tournament, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Woj reports that NBA commissioner Adam Silver thinks the league will be able to convince the rest of the Board of Governors (comprising Silver, the owners of all 30 teams, and their representatives) to bring the concept to a vote down the road. The midseason tournament idea had previously not made it to the voting stage when it was considered before the pandemic.
Two-thirds of team owners would need to support the measure for it to be enacted. The earliest a midseason tournament could be implemented now would be the 2022/23 season.
Silver believes a midseason tournament will be able to help keep fans invested during a lengthy regular season that has sometimes struggled to maintain interest ahead of the playoffs. The original proposal also included a pitch to reduce the NBA regular season from 82 games to 78 in order to accommodate a midseason competition.
Previously, the league had been looking to model its midseason tournament around the structure that European football currently uses. The NBA was considering an eight-game single-elimination competition. Each player on the victorious squad would be rewarded with a $1MM payout, under this original proposal.