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The NBA Should Absolutely Adopt Mid-Season Tournaments As Soon As Humanly Possible

2019 NBA Finals - Golden State Warriors v Toronto Raptors

(ESPN) – The NBA is formally exploring how it might use its 75th anniversary season as an opportunity to test some of its bolder initiatives — not only a mid-season cup and postseason play-in tournament, but also a reduction in the 82-game regular season schedule.

On a June 17 conference call, a committee that consists of approximately a dozen top team executives from both basketball and business operations discussed with the league office ideas for alternatives to the traditional NBA schedule for the 2021-22 season. In what sources characterize as a wide-ranging brainstorming session with accompanying documents, participants contemplated how the NBA could introduce the aforementioned tournaments, as well as an abbreviated slate of regular-season games to accommodate the additional events.

Supporters of a new mid-season cup-style tournament acknowledge the difficulty of its implementation without a corresponding reduction in the number of regular-season games. For instance, trimming games off the current 82-game schedule would have vast revenue implications for teams which have commitments to local broadcast partners and rely on revenue from attendance at live games.

Every level of basketball has random tournaments except for the NBA. Every level. College basketball, high school, all AAU is tournaments, and the NBA just doesn’t have anything outside of the Summer League, the Olympics, and, yanno, the playoffs. The NBA has smaller days that bring up significance – Christmas, MLK Jr. Day, the three games leading up to the Super Bowl when nothing else is on television – but nothing as official as a tournament. Which, maybe they can parlay those days into something more substantiative.

Making Christmas a tournament would be electric. Many consider it the unofficial start of the season as it already stands so why not go all out? All of the marquee teams playing a round-robin over the course of a week while the rest of the League maintains their normal schedule could be fire. I don’t really care what the prize is, but if the premise is to garner a more competitive spirit during the middle of a long season does the prize even matter? Give them a title belt or something. Who gives a shit. Then do it again the weekend between Championship weekend and the Super Bowl. That’s a dead week as it is, throw another tournament using different teams in there. If you cut the regular season around these games to about 60 or-so then you can build in an extra handful in these tournaments. Whatever the final product is you can assure yourself that franchises wont be bringing in *less* revenue when it’s all said and done. But if you dropped a few tournaments throughout the season – maybe one pegging competent young cores against one another, another with true contenders, and a third with aging vets and known superstars – people will watch. Players will be able to tamper more freely. The regular season wont drag as long. I’m sure there are negatives, I just don’t happen to see them at this point in time. Feed me as many tournaments as the NBA will allow and I’ll sit there happy as a clam watching every second.