Connect with us


NBA launches in-season tourney with Dec. 9 final in Vegas

The NBA launched its first-ever in-season tournament on Saturday, revealing the groups for the 30-team event culminating with the NBA Cup Final on December 9 in Las Vegas.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the idea had been discussed for 15 years by league officials before settling upon a format styled after European football league Cup events.

“What a perfect opportunity for a global league like the NBA,” Silver said. “It’s a perfect fit for our game.”

Silver did sound a cautionary note in hopes NBA fans would be patient at the start of the new competition.

“It takes a little bit of time to establish a new tradition,” Silver said. “All throughout sports we’re seeing new innovations and now is the time for this in-season tournament. So here we go.”

Six groups of five teams each, three from the Eastern Conference and three from the Western Conference, were randomly drawn based on last season’s records.

Each team will play two home and two road games in group play, facing each group rival once.

Those games will be played on Tuesdays and Fridays in November starting November 3, regular-season contests counting as tournament play, except for US Election Day on November 7.

Three group winners and the next-best team overall from each conference will advance to the eight-team knockout quarter-finals round and games on December 4-5.

Those winners will advance to the semi-finals in Vegas on December 7 with the championship match two nights later.

Each player on the NBA In-Season Tournament championship squad will receive $500,000.

“I’m excited,” Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “I think it’s going to add an element of excitement for the players and the coaches and the fans. I think it’s a great idea.”

The 67 games across both stages of the In-Season Tournament will count toward the regular-season standings except the final. All clubs will continue to play 82 regular-season games in the 2023-24 season.

In the Western Conference, Group A will consist of the Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis, Phoenix, Utah and Portland.

Group B will feature reigning NBA champion Denver, New Orleans, the Los Angeles Clippers, Dallas and Houston while Group C includes Golden State, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Minnesota, Sacramento.

“I think we’re going to be really surprising,” said San Antonio Spurs teen star and 2023 top draft pick Victor Wembanyama of France.

In the Eastern Conference, Group A includes Philadelphia, Cleveland, Atlanta, Indiana and Detroit with Group B consisting of Milwaukee, New York, Miami, Washington and Charlotte.

Group C will feature Orlando, Chicago, Boston, Brooklyn and Toronto.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


World Cup News


More in Basketball