NBA’s Proposed Play-In Tournament Now Unlikely To Happen
The world of sports struggles to come up with a bulletproof plan for a potential NBA return this year. The COVID-19 pandemic remains the biggest enemy keeping a full season from happening. Given the situation, NBA commissioner Adam Silver and the board hinted that a play-in tournament is unlikely to happen this year.
The organization discusses the possibility of holding a play-in tournament as of the moment. But the current global situation and possible logistic issues show that it’s not conclusive. NBA analyst Kevin O’Connor, one of the closest sources of the said discussion, discouraged fans from hoping for a play-in tournament. In an interview, O’Connor said:
“A postseason play-in tournament has been weighed but is considered highly unlikely, according to multiple league sources. While a tournament could be attractive to fans and lucrative for the league in future seasons, it’s considered too dramatic of a shift in the short term. The league already has its existing contracts with RSNs and national networks, so the best use of time would be fulfilling those deals rather than introducing another unknown on top of every other uncertainty the league is facing.”
Regardless of the NBA’s final decision regarding this matter, many agree that a small play-in tournament can bring the action back. It would generate home viewership and revenue. It’s actually a win-win situation for the players, fans, and the organization. More than that, it’s one of the best methods to put the country’s coronavirus-prevention protocols into test.
For now, everything and everyone is in limbo. If the lockdown continues, some of the regular-season games would be canceled and teams might have to conclude the playoffs as soon as the league returns. It would be impossible to hold a full season. If the entire regular season gets canceled this year, the NBA might host a postseason with only 16 teams on site. Meanwhile, the introduction of sims sports betting might alleviate the situation as it offers new and exciting scenarios, odds markets, and talk among NBA fans.
As frustrating as it seems, the NBA assured fans that the league is in constant discussion with everyone for the return of the season—may it be this year or next year. They’re just waiting for the go-signal of health professionals leading the battle against COVID-19.