The NBA has announced its plans for a new in-season tournament set to take place during the 2023-24 season, culminating in the finals held in Las Vegas. Following a format inspired by the NCAA’s popular Final Four, teams will compete in four group games in November to determine the quarter-finalists. The semi-finals and final will then be held in December at a single venue, similar to the NCAA tournament.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver expressed enthusiasm for the tournament, highlighting its suitability for a global league like the NBA and comparing it to European football club cup competitions. The details of the tournament were revealed in Las Vegas, coinciding with the start of the Summer League.
The tournament structure involves six groups, evenly split between the Eastern and Western Conferences, with teams drawn randomly based on their performance from the previous season. Each team will play two home and two away group games against their rivals within the group. The group winners, along with two wildcards (the best-performing teams overall from each conference), will progress to the quarter-finals scheduled for December 4-5. The semi-finals will then be held in Las Vegas on December 7, followed by the championship match two nights later.
Notably, the tournament results will contribute to the regular-season standings, except for the final. Teams not involved in the tournament during the knockout stages will play regular-season games on December 6 and 8.
Las Vegas, already a host for the Summer League, will further strengthen its basketball presence with this tournament. To coincide with the start of the off-season tournament, a new three-day fan event called NBA Con was introduced this year.
The participating teams have been divided into groups. In the Western Conference, Group A consists of the Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz, and Portland Trail Blazers. Group B features the Denver Nuggets, New Orleans Pelicans, Los Angeles Clippers, Dallas Mavericks, and Houston Rockets. Group C includes the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Sacramento Kings.
In the Eastern Conference, Group A comprises the Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks, Indiana Pacers, and Detroit Pistons. Group B consists of the Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Washington Wizards, and Charlotte Hornets. Group C includes the Orlando Magic, Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, and Toronto Raptors.
As the NBA introduces this exciting new in-season tournament, basketball enthusiasts eagerly anticipate the intense competition and potential for memorable moments on the court.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about in-season tournament
What is the NBA in-season tournament?
The NBA in-season tournament is a new competition introduced for the 2023-24 season. It features teams playing group games in November, leading to quarter-finals, semi-finals, and a final held in Las Vegas.
How is the tournament structured?
The tournament consists of six groups, evenly split between the Eastern and Western Conferences. Each team plays four group games, and the group winners, along with two wildcards, advance to the quarter-finals. The semi-finals and final are held at a single venue in December.
Will the tournament affect regular-season standings?
Yes, all tournament match results, except for the final, will count towards the regular-season standings. Teams not involved in the tournament during the knockout stages will play regular-season games on designated days.
What is the inspiration behind the tournament format?
The tournament format draws inspiration from European football club cup competitions, such as the Champions League. The NBA aims to create an exciting and globally appealing tournament for its fans.
Which teams will be participating in the tournament?
The teams have been divided into six groups: Group A, Group B, and Group C in both the Eastern and Western Conferences. The participating teams include prominent NBA franchises such as the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks, and Brooklyn Nets, among others.
Is the tournament part of a new agreement?
Yes, the in-season tournament is part of the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement with the National Basketball Players’ Association. The agreement took effect on July 1 and runs until the end of the 2029-30 season.
How does this tournament impact the NBA Summer League?
The tournament announcement coincided with the start of the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. The Summer League is a separate event where all 30 NBA teams participate, showcasing young talent and providing an opportunity for player development.
More about in-season tournament
- NBA Official Website
- [NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement](link to the CBA document if available)
- NCAA Official Website
- [Champions League Official Website](link to the official UEFA Champions League website if available)
- [Las Vegas Summer League](link to the official NBA Summer League website if available)
- [National Basketball Players’ Association (NBPA) Official Website](link to the official NBPA website if available)