Big changes in the NBA?

Callie Hughes, Sports Writer

The NBA is looking to change its season schedule because the league is inching toward its 75th season in 2021-2022. The proposed changes, according to Tim Reynolds, would include the following: adding an in-season tournament, adding a play-in playoff tournament for 7th-10th seeds, shortening the regular-season games from 82 to 78, and re-seeding the four conference finalists. This would mean teams in the NBA finals could be from the same conference. 

Adding an in-season tournament would allow all thirty teams to compete. The reason for this tournament comes from Adam Silver. “Commissioner Adam Silver has been driving this agenda of change — especially the in-season tournament cup modeled after European soccer — for years” (Reynolds). This could create a big payday for the league. The incentive for this tournament would be “…a $1 million per player prize for the in-season tournament” (Reynolds). This tournament would be before Christmas and after Thanksgiving, but the NBA has not yet finalized this time frame. 

The play-in playoff tournament would change the landscape of the playoffs, as the team in each respective conference would clinch the playoffs automatically. The play-in tournament could allow the 10th seed into the playoffs whereas now only the 1st-8th seeds are in it. For example, if the 10th seeded team in the league beat the team that was 8th, the 10th seeded team would take the playoff spot. This would drastically change how the playoffs pan out. 

Shortening the season doesn’t really “shorten” the schedule. This is because the tournament additions would increase games on the schedule. As a result, there really would be the same amount of games. 

Adding all of this will increase profits for the NBA because of the revenue from the two new tournaments, which would be bigger money-makers than regular-season games. 

Works Cited

Reynolds, Tim. “NBA, Teams, Players Union Discuss Shortening Season.” NBA, https://www.nba.com/article/2019/11/23/report-shorter-nba-season-playoff-seeding-changes. Accessed 27 Jan. 2020. 

Reynolds, Tim. “NBA Proposes 78-game Regular Season, In-Season Tournament.” NBA, https://www.nba.com/article/2019/12/20/nba-proposes-78-game-season-among-changes. Accessed 27 Jan. 2020. 

Wojnarowski, Adrian, and Zach Lowe. “NBA Playoff Reseeding Idea May be Off the Table.” ESPN, https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/28440726/sources-nba-playoff-reseeding-idea-table. Accessed 27 Jan. 2020.