An NBA midseason tournament, which is reportedly being discussed as a possibility by the league, is an even worse idea than putting any longterm faith in Markelle Fultz ever stepping foot on a basketball court again. Neither are ever going to be successful and both will ultimately disappoint you in the end.
The report broke yesterday that the NBA is considering reducing the regular season by several games and introducing a midseason cup tournament to shake up the league and its format. This past April, naked mole-rat look-a-like and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver posited the midseason tournament as a serious possibility for the league moving forward.
You know what’s a good idea? Reducing the NBA season by a few games is a good idea. Reducing the wear and tear these athletes put on their bodies over the course of a regular season and playoffs is a good idea. But replacing those games with a completely unnecessary midseason tournament that players will shit all over and never take seriously? That’s a bad idea.
The NBA does not need a half-assed gimmick to boost ratings. The NBA isn’t the UEFA Europa League and it (thankfully) is not the NHL. It shouldn’t have to rely on a tournament that is half-cocked in theory and would never, EVER work in practice. The NBA doesn’t need more exhibition games, it doesn’t need glowing basketballs that turn red whenever a three is shot, and it certainly doesn’t need a useless cup tournament dropped in the middle of a season that would be instantly forgotten the second the regular season resumed.
How would a tournament even work? Would teams play each other? What would be the point? To be the coveted midseason tournament champions? Why would franchises even risk the possibility of their players competing in what amounts to an exhibition game in the middle of the season? Anthony Davis sat out 75% of the regular season to avoid the possibility of getting hurt before he could be traded… do you think he’d be keen on playing in an exhibition game to win a midseason cup championship t-shirt and a $20 gift certificate to Buffalo Wild Wings?
Unless the NBA actually forces its franchises to make its athletes participate in the tournament, nobody of any value is going to play in this thing. Can you imagine if Kevin Durant had torn his Achilles in a useless exhibition match instead of the NBA finals? The rate of hamstring pulls will magically increase among the league by 10,000% every year when this tournament rolls around. If the idea of seeing Shake Milton, Jonah Bolden, and whatever other flotsam and jetsam make up the last five members of the Sixers bench face off against the other dreck from across the league that would actually play in something like this, then yeah maybe the tournament is for you.
And if the NBA decides to include professional teams from other countries in this cup? I don’t need a 6’9, 270-pound crusty Serbian power forward who rips Marlboro Reds during TV timeouts with nothing to lose throwing blind-side screens at Joel Embiid to make a name for himself during an exhibition game. I’ll watch wrestling if I want to root against an evil foreign power.
If the NBA is dead set on a midseason tournament, Eytan Shander of 97.3 FM floated this idea:
A mid-season cup formed with only Big 3 players is the one true way to do this https://t.co/VsMu8ClGER
— eytan (@shandershow) June 26, 2019
That’s not bad. Partner with the “Big 3” league, give the NBA players a mid-season break, and put together Big 3 teams for each city that consist of players that used to play for your team. I guarantee that would be more competitive and more entertaining than watching uninterested NBA players try not to get themselves hurt in a meaningless tournament.
Shorten up the season, forget about the midseason tournament, and distance yourself as much as you possibly can from soccer and hockey. That’s a winning formula for success.