Column: Count me IN for the NBA in-season tournament

Aug 16, 2023, 3:53 PM

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 30: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors dribbles against ...

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Over the years I have realized that I am clearly an optimist.

Even more, I also realized that I like a good gimmick. For my birthday and Christmas, my older brother always gets me “gimmick chips.” What are gimmick chips? How does honey bbq Pringles, Mexican corn Cheetos, or maybe even a Chicken and Waffles Lays potato chip sound to you? These are gimmicks. Not all hits, some are big misses but I appreciate the attempt and will always at least try them.

Now let’s take these two things and pair them with the NBA and what do we have? We have the IN-season tournament as all 30 teams will be playing for the first-ever NBA Cup.

It’s a gimmick. Add my optimism and call me a fan. Will this be for everybody? I am not sure, but I really do like the idea. Three groups of five teams will play each other from the Eastern and Western Conferences. The top team out of each group and one wild card team will advance to the tournament quarterfinals. That will dwindle down to semi-finals and then finals.

The Sacramento Kings group includes Golden State, Minnesota, Oklahoma City and San Antonio. These games are still regular season games but with a little more “juice.”

I like that the league didn’t separate this from the regular season and that they are definitely trying to make the regular season more appealing. Will it work? That remains to be seen. European soccer has many different battles that they play for and true fans are all in. The Larry O’Brien Trophy is still the end-all, be-all for the sport but maybe, just maybe, over time, the NBA Cup will become a big deal.

Much like the gimmick chips that I try every year, the league will do its best to tweak them until they find the sweet spot. Now let me get back to my BLT Doritos.

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