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Mavs Owner Mark Cuban Calls Incentives for NBA's In-Season Tournament 'So Dumb'

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 25, 2019

Mark Cuban, governor of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, arrives at the NBA Awards on Monday, June 24, 2019, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Richard Shotwell/Associated Press

Opinions are mixed on the NBA's proposed in-season tournament, but Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is clearly not a fan.   

Marc Stein of the New York Times reported a potential $15 million pot for the winning team and $1.5 million for the coaching staff, in addition to a possible draft-pick reward. However, Cuban explained the potential problems involved on Twitter:

Mark Cuban @mcuban

And to create incremental financial incentives to play games just sends so many wrong messages. Free agency recruitment will change. "Hey, we can't compete for a ring, but we go all out for the TBT, so sign with us and u could make another $1m"

"I can't hate an in season winner take all tournament enough," Cuban added.

The 61-year-old also noted even the draft pick wouldn't be incentive for the teams.

"I certainly would not risk an injury or increased usage of our best players to get the 31st pick in the draft configured as a first rounder," Cuban argued.

While there have been rumblings about changes to the NBA regular season, the league officially sent a proposal to cut the season from 82 games down to 78 while adding an in-season tournament for the 2021-22 season.

The tournament—modeled after European soccer—would give each team a home and away game against each division rival in a group stage. The six winners and two wild cards would then compete in a single-elimination bracket in December until a winner is crowned. 

"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," commissioner Adam Silver said last May, per Stein. "In the case of European soccer, I think there is something we can learn from them."

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Despite his vision, it seems not everyone is on board with the proposed changes.

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