Because only one team can win the Larry O’Brien. Which means 29 NBA teams fail at winning it all. We are very ‘all or nothing’ in America. You’re either first or you’re last. But does it have to be that way? If you win 60 games in the NBA regular season and not win the Championship, is that a failure? Giannis doesn’t think so. Without a doubt, the In-Season Tournament gives more teams a chance at success.
Change is not easy. Just ask baseball fans when they increased the size of the bases by 3 inches….. I remember seeing hot takes knocking the Play-In games for the NBA Playoffs. Nowadays, most fans are used to, or maybe even fully embrace the Play-In games. The bottom line, it gives more teams a chance. The Lakers went from almost not making the playoffs to making it to the West Conference Finals.
Not an original Idea…
The concept is new for the NBA, but it’s not uncommon in American Basketball. The WNBA has the Commissioner’s Cup. And for the last 3 seasons, it has been a bright spot for their league. It has created more competition and rivalry in the W. In addition, the In-Season Tournament provides the chance of bragging rights over another team’s fan base. That is something to get behind as well.
The unfortunate saying in the NBA is that the season really doesn’t start until Christmas Day. This saying suggests that the previous games have no value. In response, the NBA Commissioners Office wants to bring more excitement to the regular season. So, by putting the In-Season Tournament in November / Early December, they can hopefully pull some eyeballs in their direction.
More Teams with More Chances
The In-Season Tournament has a European Soccer feel to it. I do not think this is by accident. The NBA is a global brand and has had MVPs of European descent for 4 of the last 5 years. Also like European Soccer, there are only a handful of clubs that can win the Season Championship. But, for their domestic tournaments, all clubs, if they get on a hot streak, have a chance. Therefore, if the Magic, the Bulls, the Cavaliers, the Jazz, and the Timberwolves can get hot, they could have their hands on a trophy.
One criticism though: Branding. The In-Season Tournament has all the sizzle of “The Basketball Tournament”. Can we at least get a Sponsor? I mean, the NBA Finals is presented by YouTube TV…. Also, can we get a name for the trophy? Kawhi Leonard has now and forever upgraded the NBA Finals Trophy name to the Larry O’B. Can’t pay for marketing that good. I will put up for submission the David Stern Trophy, Sponsored by Capitalism…