After years of rumors about a potential mid season break from the NBA regular season, it has become a reality.
The NBA announced on Thursday that details regarding the In-Season tournament will be announced on a NBA Today Special airing on ESPN on Saturday, July 8, at 7:30 p.m. EST. The special will cover the dates, structure, groupings, location, and more.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski announced that the In-Season Tournament will feature a Final Four round, which is set to take place on Dec . 7 and Dec. 9 in Las Vegas.
Former No. 1 overall pick and Orlando Magic Forward Paolo Banchero is emerging as one of the faces of the NBA, and will join the NBA Today broadcast. Banchero will also be joined by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, the most recent No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama, and NBA superstars Cade Cunningham, Anthony Edwards, and Trae Young.
ESPN released the following as a preview for the structure the tournament will follow:
“All teams will participate in the group stage, which will consist of six groups total -- three per conference -- and chosen by a random draw based on teams' winning percentage the previous season. Each team will play four games in its group, with the six group winners making the knockout stage, along with two wild cards who finished with the best winning percentage and not first in their groups.
Knockout-stage games will be single elimination through the final.”
So what does this ACTUALLY mean for the NBA? What kind of incentives will be offered to keep players and fans interested in taking home the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament trophy? We don’t have official word yet, but we do have some theories from our ‘In The Zone’ crew Brandon Kravitz and Tyler Caron.
Tune in to In The Zone on FM 96.9 The Game at 3 p.m. EST for a breakdown and some thoughts on the NBA In-Season Tournament to tip-off the show.