NBA 2021-22: NBA, NBPA agree to play-in tournament format through 2021-22 season, Report

NBA Play-In Tournament 2021-22: The NBA’s playoff play-in tournament format will return for the 2021-22 season, sources told ESPN on Friday.

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association consented to prolong the play-in tournament concept for next season, pending anticipated permission of the league’s board of governors at an August meeting, sources said.

There was plenty of interest in the Warriors-Los Angeles Lakers play-in game Wednesday, which drew an average of 5.6 million viewers and peaked at 6.1 million late in the Lakers’ 103-100 win.

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I personally have a big appetite — and it may be bigger than some of our teams and even some of the players,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said.. “There was some resistance to the play-in tournament. I hope it’s a new element of our game. We hope to go forward with that.

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“We’ve talked about in-season tournaments. We’re all fans of other leagues, especially internationally. I think there is this notion of having something more to play for than just the championship; not to say that the ultimate isn’t to win the championship, but possibly doing something throughout the season. It’s something we’re taking a hard look at. It obviously won’t happen next season, but we’re talking to the players’ association and we’re talking to teams about that.

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NBA Play-In Tournament 2021-22: LeBron James was not pleased with the league’s decision to hold a Play-In Tournament. Regardless, the Lakers secured the 7th Seed and will face the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Playoffs.

Whoever came up with that s— needs to be fired,” LeBron said of the play-in tournament.

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NBA Play In Tournament: Statement from Adam Silver

I haven’t made any secret that I want it to be [around long term]. I have two constituencies I need to convince of that. One is the 30 teams, and I think for the most part they’ve supported it. Again, I understand the sentiment if I were a team—a 7-seed in particular—the notion [that] after a long season, you could potentially play out of the playoffs. I understand those feelings. I think at the same time, the teams recognize the amount of additional interest we’ve created over the last month of the season plus those play-in games make it worth it.

“Of course, the other constituency is the players. For example, one player, who is on the executive committee of the union, said to me yesterday that he really likes the play-in tournament but he felt it could potentially be a bit unfair. For example, if you were the seventh seed and you were a significant number of games ahead of the 8-seed, the notion that you could somehow lose two games and be out of the playoffs seems unfair.”