What happened to the NBA in-season cup tournament?
In 2019, the NBA was interested in new ideas to reinvigorate fan interest. The NBA's peaked in the United States television viewership in the late 1990s. Since then, the numbers of fluctuated year on year. After some down years, NBA viewership has rebounded, but it is far off the incredible numbers of more than 20 years ago.
Seeking to bring back fans to a stale, marathon-like NBA season, the Association came up with an idea taken from world soccer. An in-season cup tournament would be played with teams having the opportunity to win a piece of silverware during the campaign other than the NBA Finals Trophy.
The cup tournament was supposed to be implemented during the 2021-22 season – the current NBA season. Yet, the COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to the cup tournament idea growing more than it did two years ago. NBA fans are enjoying the start of the all-new NBA season which once again features 82-games. If you are looking for the latest NBA bet news for Ohio, visit Ohio-Bet as it is the go-to place for information and reviews for online sports betting in the state.
The big problem with the NBA cup tournament was making NBA fans and basketball lovers at large care about it. The NBA's opening months of the season are not the most watched by fans. Games are dull to open the season especially when teams play each other multiple times and the campaign lasts eight months. The grind of the NBA can wear on fans no matter how fanatical they are about the league. In truth, it isn't until Christmas - or even the All-Star break - that the NBA gets good.
For now, the NBA cup tournament has been cast aside thanks in part to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic's forcing of the NBA to play two truncated seasons back-to-back, led to the birth of the Play-in Tournament to create excitement at the end of each campaign.
Ahead of the NBA's 2021-22 season, the NBA Board of Governors approved to continue the Play-In Tournament for the upcoming term. The Play-In Tournament is set to take place after the regular season, but prior to the first round of the NBA Playoffs. It includes the teams with the seventh-highest through the tenth-highest winning percentages in each conference.
The NBA Play-in Tournament allows the Association to create the artificial excitement it desires. It should boost viewership numbers yet again as more teams allow for more fans to invest their interest. There seems to be some misunderstandings across American professional sports, however. Sports leagues assume fans will watch games regardless of the teams they support playing or not. This is not true and part of the reasons numbers decline is due to fans not being interested if their teams are not playing.
Fans interest is piqued thanks to the NBA Play-in Tournament, however. According to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, the games provided by the Play-in Tournament make the NBA season more competitive. This is true as the worst teams in each conference still have the chance to make the postseason. The problem with this idea is that it deludes the regular season's importance even more.
In the final two weeks of the 2020-21 season, 24 of the NBA's 30 teams still had a shot at making the playoffs thanks to the Play-in Tournament. While it gives more teams the chance to make the playoffs, the real reason behind the pre-playoff tournament is to make money. NBA teams can increase their revenue significantly.
The NBA Play-in Tournament wasn't planned initially, but it has superseded the idea of the in-season cup competition. Expect the Play-in Tournament to continue further after the 2021-22 season.