The Simmons Tournament Is Real?

ifmanis5

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View: https://twitter.com/wojespn/status/1396517123065884674

ESPN Sources: The NBA is eager to restart the conversation with its teams and @TheNBPA about instituting a midseason tournament into the league’s calendar:

Commissioner Adam Silver, a proponent of the idea, has gained optimism that the success of the play-in tournament could drive momentum to reengage teams on another tournament idea that had been discussed before the pandemic, but never reached a vote of the board of governors, sources said.

The NBA has pushed to incorporate more competitive elements to the league's calendar in recent years, including the play-in tourney, in-game coach's challenges and All-Star Game changes like the player draft and scoring targets.
 

ifmanis5

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Woj promises more later today:
More on the story on NBA Countdown on ABC at 3 PM ET ahead of Game 1 of the Lakers-Suns series.

Adam Silver, a proponent of the idea, has gained in optimism that the success of the play-in tournament could drive momentum to reengage teams on another tournament idea that had been discussed prior to the pandemic, but never reached a vote of the Board of Governors.

LOL, the replies to Woj are pretty much 'do not want.'
 

JCizzle

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Woj promises more later today:
More on the story on NBA Countdown on ABC at 3 PM ET ahead of Game 1 of the Lakers-Suns series.

Adam Silver, a proponent of the idea, has gained in optimism that the success of the play-in tournament could drive momentum to reengage teams on another tournament idea that had been discussed prior to the pandemic, but never reached a vote of the Board of Governors.

LOL, the replies to Woj are pretty much 'do not want.'
People can say "do not want" all they want on Twitter, but like the ASG people will still watch and it will draw good numbers.

I don't mind the idea and I think it's nice that the NBA is willing to shake things up.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Add 2 expansion teams. Let the 16 non playoff teams play a tournament for the number 1 pick in the NBA draft. Whoever wins gets the number 1 pick.

Final 4 determine the top 4 picks with the losers of the semi finals playing each other for the 3rd pick. All other picks go by record.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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Add 2 expansion teams. Let the 16 non playoff teams play a tournament for the number 1 pick in the NBA draft. Whoever wins gets the number 1 pick.

Final 4 determine the top 4 picks with the losers of the semi finals playing each other for the 3rd pick. All other picks go by record.
Are players going to be motivated to help their franchise pick their replacements?
 

bankshot1

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Add 2 expansion teams. Let the 16 non playoff teams play a tournament for the number 1 pick in the NBA draft. Whoever wins gets the number 1 pick.

Final 4 determine the top 4 picks with the losers of the semi finals playing each other for the 3rd pick. All other picks go by record.
When are the non-playoff teams determined, 1) just prior to the tourney ie mid-season, or 2) prior year's standings?

There could be some interesting gamesmanship for a cusp play-off team to tank and qualify for the tourney and find themselves in a decent position to win a 1-4 pick rather than the 15th if they played it straight.

As I understand this proposal the integrity of the game could be sorely tested.
 

JCizzle

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Are players going to be motivated to help their franchise pick their replacements?
Isn't it generally the organization and coaching that tanks and not the players? It's probably a bad idea for players to have game tape floating around of throwing a game when they're up for a new contract.

With that said, I agree there's plenty of room for shenanigans with this proposal. I'm sure LeBron's Lakers team pre-AD would have used this to their full advantage.
 

Cesar Crespo

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When are the non-playoff teams determined, 1) just prior to the tourney ie mid-season, or 2) prior year's standings?

There could be some interesting gamesmanship for a cusp play-off team to tank and qualify for the tourney and find themselves in a decent position to win a 1-4 pick rather than the 15th if they played it straight.

As I understand this proposal the integrity of the game could be sorely tested.
There are definitely flaws around it but it would mostly eliminate tanking. I'm not really sure what would determine non playoff teams either.

I'd be curious what they come up. Any idea of a tournament gets a lot easier by adding 2 expansion teams though. It gives the NBA 32 teams.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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Isn't it generally the organization and coaching that tanks and not the players? It's probably a bad idea for players to have game tape floating around of throwing a game when they're up for a new contract.

With that said, I agree there's plenty of room for shenanigans with this proposal. I'm sure LeBron's Lakers team pre-AD would have used this to their full advantage.
I think it's more about the players treating the tournament with the same intensity of a pre-season game, if they don't care about the outcome, and team drafting position won't necessarily get them to care about the outcome (maybe it does, but it wouldn't seem that way to me, especially pending free agents). Game tape of them not trying too hard won't really impact their next contract if nobody is trying that hard in these games.

Agree with your second point.
 

ElUno20

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This is supposed to be the NBA's version of the League Cup / FA Cup? Yea I don't get it.
Yes which is why i dont get the hate for it. Run your scrubs out there, if you make it deep than the starters play in the more "important" games.
 

slamminsammya

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Yes which is why i dont get the hate for it. Run your scrubs out there, if you make it deep than the starters play in the more "important" games.
If it's the league cup, then its just a nuisance for some games where no one good is going to play big minutes. Why do I want to watch the season interrupted for a back of the bench / G league tournament? Its a cash grab by the owners.

At least soccer has a longer development curve, so the guys you see in a league cup might one day be the next big things.
 

ElUno20

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If it's the league cup, then its just a nuisance for some games where no one good is going to play big minutes. Why do I want to watch the season interrupted for a back of the bench / G league tournament? Its a cash grab by the owners.

At least soccer has a longer development curve, so the guys you see in a league cup might one day be the next big things.
No one is forcing you to watch. Similar to the gripes about the play in, people will end up watching.
 

Red Right Ankle

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Add 2 expansion teams. Let the 16 non playoff teams play a tournament for the number 1 pick in the NBA draft. Whoever wins gets the number 1 pick.

Final 4 determine the top 4 picks with the losers of the semi finals playing each other for the 3rd pick. All other picks go by record.
As mentioned, the players aren't going to care about these games, but the bones are there. Some ideas to perhaps make them care:

1) All teams play in the tourney
2) Games matter to standings - translate wins in the tourney to wins in the standings in some way, maybe by moving to a points system?
3) The highest finishing lottery team gets the #1 pick
 

lars10

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As mentioned, the players aren't going to care about these games, but the bones are there. Some ideas to perhaps make them care:

1) All teams play in the tourney
2) Games matter to standings - translate wins in the tourney to wins in the standings in some way, maybe by moving to a points system?
3) The highest finishing lottery team gets the #1 pick
#3 may be better than the current selection process, but I wonder how many really bad teams would compete/ finish higher in the tourney?
 

Red Right Ankle

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#3 may be better than the current selection process, but I wonder how many really bad teams would compete/ finish higher in the tourney?
If the games matter to the standings and their stats, then players will probably compete - as someone pointed out, tanking is usually done by management, not the players. The better lottery teams would then certainly have a shot to improve their positioning since they'd be the most likely to be able to take advantage of non-lottery teams having an off night.

If they suck too bad to do better than they would have under the current system, than that doesn't invalidate the tournament idea, it just leaves us with the question of whether the tournament is more exciting than the current system.
 

benhogan

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There are definitely flaws around it but it would mostly eliminate tanking. I'm not really sure what would determine non playoff teams either.

I'd be curious what they come up. Any idea of a tournament gets a lot easier by adding 2 expansion teams though. It gives the NBA 32 teams.
There's a kernel of a good idea here.

Maybe the bottom 8 teams play in a 3-day tournament for the top 8 picks. The day after the season ends (stops OKC from giving Horford 1/2 the season off).. winning team players split up 100% of TV $$$/attendance $$$ (team gets a top pick).

It's better than watching team mascots, faded All-Stars, nervous GMs, a smug Adam Silver and PWC spin ping pong balls with frozen envelopes. The NBA version of the local church bingo for Seniors.

Time to go full gimmick, bring back the ELAM.
 

bankshot1

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I'm probably too suspicious but as posted yesterday, linking a mid-season tourney to lottery draft picks sounds like an invitation to gaming the game. And everyone will know it. You want an in-season tourney to goose interest and TV ratings and profit margins, no problem, share the wealth with the players. Players get time and half 2x for OT. (JK) Keep it mostly simple.

All team participate in a win or go home bracket tourney. E/W brackets, seeing as there are 30 teams, give the 1s a bye, and play ball.

4 wins for the bracket, 5 for the championship game.

Players get minimum 1X game rate for game 1, BUT winners get 1.5X for a G1 win, losers 1X
G2, winners 1.5X
G3 3, winners 1.75X,
G4 (conf finals) winners 2X
4X for championship.

All losing teams get 1X. There seems to be enough motivation and money on the line for players to play a meaningless tourney for real.

There should be a kicker for the fans other than a 2 week (whatever) mid-season tourney. How about the NBA seeds a pool with $250K for each 30 team ($7.5 M) through DK or FD (presumably the tourney sponsor) and fans registered with the sponsor as a "fan" gets a slice of the pie as the inital stake is placed at the moneyline and it rolls forward. There may be some fan interest in a 1-possession game with some dough on the line.
 
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cheech13

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Why not give the tournament real stakes, like the winner gets the #1 overall seed in the playoffs regardless of final regular season record? Or make tourney wins count for tiebreaker scenarios? NBA players will never carry about draft positioning.
 

DJnVa

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"Commissioner Adam Silver, a proponent of the idea, has gained optimism that the success of the play-in tournament "
What metric is being used to say the play-in tournament has been a "success"?
 

Red Right Ankle

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Ratings? A quick google has a few articles stating, e.g. the LAK v. GSW game and the BOS v. WAS games both did quite well.
 

tmracht

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Why not give the tournament real stakes, like the winner gets the #1 overall seed in the playoffs regardless of final regular season record? Or make tourney wins count for tiebreaker scenarios? NBA players will never carry about draft positioning.
Guarantee a spot in the play-in game to teams who don't make it could be interesting a la the FA Cup getting a European birth.
 

lexrageorge

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Another option is to expand the playin so that seeds 5-10 compete for the bottom 4 seeds of the playoffs. And the tournament winner gets an automatic top 4 seed.
 

tmracht

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Man I'd be pretty pissed if I was the 4 seed and lost any chance of having home court to a team that finished 5th or worse because they had a chance to beat up on worse teams.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Why not give the tournament real stakes, like the winner gets the #1 overall seed in the playoffs regardless of final regular season record? Or make tourney wins count for tiebreaker scenarios? NBA players will never carry about draft positioning.
That would make it possible for the worst team in the NBA to get a 1 seed. The worst team probably won't but I wouldn't be shocked to see one of the bottom 6 teams go on a run and win the 1 seed.
 

lexrageorge

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That would make it possible for the worst team in the NBA to get a 1 seed. The worst team probably won't but I wouldn't be shocked to see one of the bottom 6 teams go on a run and win the 1 seed.
Man I'd be pretty pissed if I was the 4 seed and lost any chance of having home court to a team that finished 5th or worse because they had a chance to beat up on worse teams.
Seems like it would be an incentive for the teams to take the tournament seriously. My assumption is that all teams would be participating, so the team that wins the tourney would be beating up on some good teams as well as bad ones.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Seems like it would be an incentive for the teams to take the tournament seriously. My assumption is that all teams would be participating, so the team that wins the tourney would be beating up on some good teams as well as bad ones.
I dunno. For a team like Houston I would think ending up with a top 4 pick would be better than losing in the 1st round. I guess it's possible they would have a chance against the 8 seed. Players would definitely play but I think it would set a franchise back a ton to lose a top 4 pick to lose in the first round of the playoffs. It's not the same as having a small chance at a top 4 pick with the 13th pick or w/e.
 

cheech13

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That would make it possible for the worst team in the NBA to get a 1 seed. The worst team probably won't but I wouldn't be shocked to see one of the bottom 6 teams go on a run and win the 1 seed.
How is the worst team in the league going to win the tournament? I know funny things can happen with single elimination but one would think a top team would win, especially when they have incentive to do so.
 

Cesar Crespo

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How is the worst team in the league going to win the tournament? I know funny things can happen with single elimination but one would think a top team would win, especially when they have incentive to do so.
Why would you think that? While it's not likely, this is the NBA, not college. Utah vs Houston is far different than Gonzaga vs Norfolk State or even Oklahoma. Injuries would play a big part in a tournament too. If you have a player go out at the wrong time for a game or two, you are fucked. In the playoffs, you got a couple more games.

Like, Utah was 0-3 against Minnesota this year. That wouldn't happen in the playoffs but it can easily happen when you play a team once every 2 months.
 
What if each game you win in the midseason tournament after the first round means you jump up one playoff seeding place in your conference at the end of the regular season? Win the whole thing and you're +5; runner-up is +4; losing semifinalists are +3; losing quarterfinalists are +2; first-round winners are +1. (Regular-season record would be the tiebreaker if teams jump up into identical seeding slots.) Or chalk off the first-round games, particularly before expansion when two teams get byes, and make the winner +4, the runner-up +3, and so on. That's a concrete reward which doesn't destroy the integrity of the season but can reap massive benefits to the teams that do well in the tournament - possibly helping a team get into or avoid the play-in games, or helping a good team coast into the playoffs without having to worry so much about seeding ramifications down the stretch.
 

bankshot1

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The idea behind the draft is to let the weaker teams rebuild. The lottery is meant to minimize tanking. But having a tourney to essentially let, for example, the Lakers or any other perrenial contender get the #1 pick on an annual basis, via a mid-season tourney, seems illogical to the league goal of semi-parity.
 
The idea behind the draft is to let the weaker teams rebuild. The lottery is meant to minimize tanking. But having a tourney to essentially let, for example, the Lakers or any other perrenial contender get the #1 pick on an annual basis, via a mid-season tourney, seems illogical to the league goal of semi-parity.
Completely agree - and making the top prize for the tournament be the chance to draft a player who will probably kick someone out of your team's existing rotation wouldn't exactly incentivize everyone to play hard. The prize has to be either money for the players or some other sort of tangible competitive reward (like the suggestion I've outlined above).
 

Cesar Crespo

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The idea behind the draft is to let the weaker teams rebuild. The lottery is meant to minimize tanking. But having a tourney to essentially let, for example, the Lakers or any other perrenial contender get the #1 pick on an annual basis, via a mid-season tourney, seems illogical to the league goal of semi-parity.
Yeah, it would have to be the non playoff teams and only the first 4 picks so that the worst team in the NBA is at least guaranteed number 5.

On the other side of the coin, letting a mid season tourney deciding any playoff seeding is just as bad and makes the rest of the regular season even more meaningless.

edit: Although to be fair, the play in games made this season feel more meaningful.
 
I mean, ultimately the hope ought to be that winning the tournament will itself be considered a worthy achievement in its own right, something on a par with winning the FA Cup in English soccer. (Sure, winning the FA Cup gets you into the Europa League the following season, so you get a benefit above and beyond success in the competition itself - but most players and fans care much more about winning a trophy than they do about qualifying for Europe.) But I don't know if that goal is achievable.
 

cheech13

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Why would you think that? While it's not likely, this is the NBA, not college. Utah vs Houston is far different than Gonzaga vs Norfolk State or even Oklahoma. Injuries would play a big part in a tournament too. If you have a player go out at the wrong time for a game or two, you are fucked. In the playoffs, you got a couple more games.

Like, Utah was 0-3 against Minnesota this year. That wouldn't happen in the playoffs but it can easily happen when you play a team once every 2 months.
If Houston can go 5-0 against the best teams in the league over a week long tournament where everyone has incentive to try then they aren’t the worst team in the league. That would be an unreal accomplishment if it happened in real life and would make the tournament must-see tv.
 

bankshot1

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Play it after the Super Bowl when nothing is going on, call it "February Fever" and market it like March Madness with pools and gambling.

And call it a day
 

Cesar Crespo

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Assuming the All Star game is still a thing, winner hosts next year's all star game. I think that's something that would get the players to play and obviously it's something all franchises want.
 

Cesar Crespo

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How about winner gets the right to HCA in any one series of its choice. Could be a prize of no value or great value.
If the winner is in the playoffs, they get to pick their playoff opponent among the playoff teams. That would be so amazing.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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I mean, ultimately the hope ought to be that winning the tournament will itself be considered a worthy achievement in its own right, something on a par with winning the FA Cup in English soccer. (Sure, winning the FA Cup gets you into the Europa League the following season, so you get a benefit above and beyond success in the competition itself - but most players and fans care much more about winning a trophy than they do about qualifying for Europe.) But I don't know if that goal is achievable.
I get the FA Cup comparisons, but they've been playing for the FA Cup since 1871, so it's a long standing tradition and everyone grew up knowing what it is and how important it is to winning. There's also no playoffs in the EPL, just the trophy for winning the regular season and berths for the European competitions for top placing teams, so the FA Cup (and EFL Cup) are the only chance for a knock-out style tournament between the best English clubs.

Traditions have to be started at some point, so maybe this mid-season tournament takes off, but it's a tougher sell unless it grants some material benefit to the players, like $1 million per player on the winning team or some benefit to making the playoffs (better seeding or an extra home game in the first two rounds for a team already making it, giving the 8th seed (without not losing your lottery odds) for a team that would otherwise not make it, etc.).

Or maybe they can get creative and instead of keeping regular teams together, do teams by college attended (plus team for no colleges/Europe), city or region of birth, or other factor that would get players motivated to represent something that means something to them.
 

tmracht

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Assuming the All Star game is still a thing, winner hosts next year's all star game. I think that's something that would get the players to play and obviously it's something all franchises want.
Until the stars just let Vegas or Miami win it each year.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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If the winner is in the playoffs, they get to pick their playoff opponent among the playoff teams. That would be so amazing.
This would be fun. Suddenly the #7 seed who won the tourney gets to pick the 8 seed, while the 1 plays a team like the Heat or whatever instead.

It has to be interesting. Direct cash payments to players might be interesting from a competitive standpoint for the tournament itself, but is overall not an interesting reward. There are still no stakes for the fans. Not feasible by the CBA but some kind of creative salary cap exception would be interesting. Draft is interesting too but that costs you the incentive for the players themselves. Ultimately may require a mix of incentives—or I guess just some unrelated CBA concession to the players.