NBA Rumors: Teams Won't Vote in April on In-Season, Play-In Tournaments

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJanuary 17, 2020

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 17: Commissioner of the NBA, Adam Silver, speaks onstage during the TIME 100 Health Summit at Pier 17 on October 17, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for TIME 100 Health Summit )
Brian Ach/Getty Images

NBA teams will not vote in April regarding the Association's list of proposed schedule changes, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic reported on Dec. 20, 2019, that the list encompasses cutting the regular-season schedule from 82 games to 78, adding an in-season tournament, reseeding the four conference finals teams by win-loss record and holding a play-in tournament for the Eastern and Western Conference's seventh and eighth seeds.

The league needs a two-thirds majority approval among the league's 30 teams to get those initiatives passed and hopes to have them in place by the 2021-22 season, per Wojnarowski. That hope still holds true despite the voting delay.

The in-season tournament would be the biggest shakeup, and Wojnarowski mentioned one notable obstacle regarding timing:

"There is still no consensus on the best time for the 30 team in-season tournament that would include pool play and a knockout round. There had been momentum around a tournament starting near Thanksgiving and extending into mid-December, and there's been some recent momentum for a tournament starting around Christmas and going to mid-January, sources said."

Otherwise, big-market teams are concerned about a potential "net financial loss" by dropping four regular-season games.

Travel is the biggest issue blocking a conference finals reseeding.

"Research has shown that travel could be increased by 60 percent in the conference finals with the proposal that would allow finalists in the East and West to play outside their conferences," Wojnarowski wrote.

The proposed changes would be far different from the NBA's norm for decades.

The NBA has played an 82-game season since 1967-68. The league began with 60 games per team in 1946-47 before slowly growing to its current number over the next two decades.

The league's current 16-team playoff format has been in existence since 1983-1984. Eastern and Western Conference teams have never played each other before the NBA Finals. No in-season tournament has ever taken place.

The most notable change this century has occurred to the NBA Finals structure, which moved to its current 2-2-1-1-1 home-away format in 2014.

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