Woj Thinks NBA Play-in Tournament Will Stay 'for Years'; Talks Midseason Tourney

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVMay 18, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) celebrates after scoring against the New Orleans Pelicans in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Sunday, May 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Derick Hingle)
AP Photo/Derick Hingle

The NBA's postseason play-in tournament has not received unanimous support from players, but it may be here to stay.

Appearing Monday on SportsCenter, ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski suggested that the play-in tournament will remain in place "for years." (Beginning at the 2:00-minute mark):

Wojnarowski noted that the NBA likes the fan interest that the play-in tournament has sparked, and that the league wants to see how it could help in terms of television deals.

Additionally, Wojnarowski said talk will heat up regarding a midseason tournament once this season ends and the league prepares to hold a more traditional 82-game season.

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is among the high-profile players who have taken issue with the play-in tournament this season, saying earlier this month: "Whoever came up with that s--t needs to be fired."

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic also spoke out against the play-in tournament last month, saying: "I don't understand the idea of a play-in. You play 72 games to get into the playoffs, then maybe you lose two in a row and you're out of the playoffs. So I don't see the point of that."

While Doncic and the Mavs avoided the play-in by finishing fifth in the Western Conference, LeBron and the Lakers weren't so lucky.

With James and Anthony Davis missing significant time because of injury this season, the Lakers finished only seventh, meaning they will need to win one more game to reach the playoffs.

The play-in tournament will begin Tuesday with the Charlotte Hornets vs. the Indiana Pacers and the Washington Wizards against the Boston Celtics.

On Wednesday, the Memphis Grizzlies will face off with the San Antonio Spurs and the Lakers will lock horns with the Golden State Warriors.

Should the Lakers lose to the Warriors, they will have to face the winner of the Grizzlies vs. Spurs game, and a loss in that matchup would leave the reigning NBA champs out of the postseason.