Adam Silver: NBA Examining Postseason Play-In Tournament, Midseason Cup

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 28, 2019

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks during the NBA All-Star festivities, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019, in Charlotte, N.C. The 68th All-Star game will be played Sunday. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Gerry Broome/Associated Press

In an effort to spice up the NBA season, Commissioner Adam Silver is "studying fairly intensely" the possibility of making some significant format changes to the league.

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the NBA could add a tournament before the postseason, either as a midseason championship or a play-in competition for the playoffs.

The league could follow in the path of European soccer, which awards multiple trophies each season for different competitions.

"It's incumbent on me to constantly be looking at other organizations and seeing what it is we can do better and learn from them," Silver said. "In the case of European soccer, I think there is something we can learn from them."

In England, clubs compete for the Premier League title while concurrently battling for the FA Cup and League Cup. Plus, the top teams face off in the Champions League or Europa League against other top European competition.

It might be difficult for NBA fans to come around to such massive changes, but Silver argued soccer fans have accepted new systems.

"The most-watched league in the world is only 27 years old," the commissioner said, referring to the Premier League. "So the idea that the NBA can't create new traditions over time makes no sense to me."

The midseason cup competition could replace the NBA All-Star Game, whose ratings have decreased. The new concept could feature four teams battling in the semifinals and finals over All-Star Weekend.

Meanwhile, the play-in tournament would provide an additional opportunity for teams to make the playoffs. Keeping more squads in contention could also limit tanking around the league.

Though these changes don't appear to be coming soon, the league clearly wants fans to keep open minds about any ideas going forward.


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