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The In-Season Tournament Is The Best Thing To Happen To The NBA In A While

Last year, the NBA needed an answer to their prayers. Load management had reached a new level, destroying the NBA from the inside out. Players sitting out games meant fewer people would come at the risk of their favorite player not playing, fewer people watching on TV because the stars aren't active, and when fans did show up, if their favorite player were randomly sitting out, they'd be livid. It was a massive loss for the NBA in every aspect, and the NBA needed a solution quickly. Luckily, they came up with not one but two that appeased the players.

The first was a requirement for award consideration. If you wanted to win any significant awards or make any of the All-NBA teams, you needed to play at least 65 games that season. The requirement ensures that any player who wants consideration or is worried about their "legacy" plays their games to get their accolades.

The other was the In-Season tournament, a new way to try and get players to care about the regular season. This added weight to regular season games by determining seeding for this tournament and hopefully reaching the competitive spirit of these players. It also came with a massive payday and trophy for the winning teams, encouraging even more GMs and owners to build a good team instead of tanking.

This Has Worked Incredibly For The NBA

With the new introduction of the tourney, it allowed for some new and experimental things to be tried. The most prominent has been a series of court designs for whichever team hosts a tournament game that night. These courts have had bright colors and strict lines that stuck out and have begun to blow up on social media. While it may not necessarily be the best press, all press is good press, and if people are talking about it, it's for the better of the NBA.

We are also seeing a significant increase in viewership from last year to this year. Compared to the previous year's games on Friday broadcasted by ESPN, fans have seen a 35 percent increase in viewership. The NBA had declining viewership due to everything I mentioned, and the new novelty and competitiveness of the tournament have added some new spice that fans want to see.

What's Next For The Tourney?

Well, the final games will be played on 11/28 to determine the seeding for the Quarter-Final. This will consist of eight teams comprising six winners from each pool and one wildcard from each conference, facing off in a single elimination-style tournament to make it to the top. Eight teams turn to four, four turn to two, and we crown a champion. The championship will be played in Las Vegas on 12/9 in front of a massive crowd, as that is likely where we could see an expansion franchise next.

I'm a massive fan of this and everything that the tourney is trying to do to encourage more playing from the stars and viewership. Once this catches on, it can be much more critical, but for now, the idea is enough to sustain itself.


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