The Simmons Tournament Is Real?

Cesar Crespo

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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.
In your scenario, the 7 seed would have home court and the Knicks would have lost HCA and ended up against the Bucks. It's also fun because if a 2 seed ended picking a 6th seed, that 6th seed might feel disrespected and it would lead to an interesting series.

It's great because it literally forces a team to pick another team to play, basically saying "yeah we are going to beat you."
 

Cesar Crespo

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I like how you've sort of immediately forgotten that the play-in games existed here. :)
Are the play in games even officially a thing for next season yet? They obviously will be. And the play in game wouldn't matter because it's not a playoff game. They'd pick after the play in game.
 

fairlee76

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Are players going to be motivated to help their franchise pick their replacements?
No idea how that lottery pick proposal would work. We have no idea who the non-playoff teams will be at the midpoint of the season.

I'd be fine with this gimmick replacing the All-Star weekend gimmick. Could always integrate the skills competition, dunk contest, and three-point contest into the week or so the midseason tourney would run. But Silver pushing this based on the ratings of the playoff play-in mini-tourney seems odd to me. Those games drew ratings because the playoffs were at stake. Finding a similar carrot for the midseason tournament is going to take some doing by the league. Maybe some kind of crossover with Instagram models for the Tristan Thompsons and Malik Beasleys of the league!?
 

Captaincoop

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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, you can't award the #1 pick that way, it would be worth risking a 7th or 8th playoff seed to get into that mix.

One way to tweak this play-in tournament, though, would be to say that the teams that win not only make the playoffs, but also get into the lottery (with the 13th and 14th best odds), and the teams that lose draft in the first two non-lottery spots. Would really up the ante in the play-in games. I was half rooting for the Celtics to lose this year just to have a shot at the lottery instead of getting boat raced by Brooklyn.
 
Are the play in games even officially a thing for next season yet? They obviously will be. And the play in game wouldn't matter because it's not a playoff game. They'd pick after the play in game.
One lower-impact option with the tournament would be to bump up the winner by one playoff category: a non-qualifier would be get into the play-in games as seed 9 or 10; a seed 9 or 10 would get bumped up to 7 or 8; and a 7 or 8 would get bumped up to the 6 seed and avoid the play-in games altogether. @Jed Zeppelin seemed to be suggesting a format in which this was already taken for granted (or that he'd forgotten that #7 wasn't automatically into the final 8).

I suppose the NBA's target has to be to come up with a system that gives the smallest possible incentive which would still serve as an incentive for every team in the tournament. Can you get away with just rewarding the winning team, or would you need to give secondary benefits for reaching the final or the semifinals or the quarterfinals (etc.)? And what sort of reward(s) will get players to care enough to make the tournament a competitive spectacle? Insofar as it's the players - and to a lesser extent, their coaches - who need to care about the tournament for it to work, I don't think anything related to draft picks and positioning can be that incentive.
 

nighthob

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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?
Mostly really bad teams would remain really bad If a system was set up to make it easier for .500 teams to get #1 picks.
 

TripleOT

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What about awarding big salary slots that are not subject to luxury tax to the successful teams in the tournament?
 

jose melendez

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HomeRunBaker

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I’m all about creative thinking to improve the product (been preaching for a 100x52 floor for decades) but this idea for a midsession tournament is about the stupidest thing I’ve heard since a Chuck Pagano surprise 4th down play. Just stop already.
 

jon abbey

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The Simmons tournament should be Bill and Ben shooting three pointers against each other for charity.
 

mauf

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The NBA has a large and fast-growing international fan base. I give them credit for looking to European soccer for growth ideas. With this tournament, however, they don’t seem to have an answer for the “so what?” question. Soccer fans care about, say, the FA Cup because of tradition. The NBA obviously can’t lean on that here. And I don’t see how they can create fan interest in this tournament without hurting interest in the main product — the competition for the NBA championship.
 

reggiecleveland

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As I understand (thanks Ted Lasso) the FA cup involves teams of different levels. Why not let in the top 8 or 16 international teams. The NBA wouldn't do it, since a loss by an NBA team would be bad for their brand. Maybe let some up and coming coaches take the top guys from other leagues make two teams, give them a two weeks to prep, to enter the tournament. those guys would be so hungry, and probably one or two end up in the nba. The NBA would have to do something for FIBA though. So probably not going to happen.
 

HomeRunBaker

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As I understand (thanks Ted Lasso) the FA cup involves teams of different levels. Why not let in the top 8 or 16 international teams. The NBA wouldn't do it, since a loss by an NBA team would be bad for their brand. Maybe let some up and coming coaches take the top guys from other leagues make two teams, give them a two weeks to prep, to enter the tournament. those guys would be so hungry, and probably one or two end up in the nba. The NBA would have to do something for FIBA though. So probably not going to happen.
Unlike soccer, the NBA vs Euro teams isn’t remotely competitive when the NBA players are in mid-season game condition. This wouldn’t work.
 

teddykgb

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I wonder if they could do something with their all nba teams and form 6-8 different teams to compete in a tournament which would have different combinations of players playing together. It’s a kind of out there idea but the FA cup works because soccer is a low scoring sport where the underdog can absolutely Nick a goal and win. I don’t think Euro teams or college teams or D League teams would really ever win so you’d need to find some way of changing the talent equation to result in relevant matchups. The hard part of course is that this is basically what the all star game is and absolutely nobody takes that remotely seriously. And all the risk is on the teams who may have a star injured in a pointless mid season tournament. It’s really hard to think of a way to create meaningful different matchups where everyone benefits enough for it to be worthwhile.
 

reggiecleveland

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I can't see this working.
Even NCAA tournaments are pretty meaningless now, since the Ncaa tournament is all that matters. At one time UCLA Houston, or NC vs Indianna was huge, but not really anymore.

The NBA has the best ball n the planet and a grind of a season followed by exciting playoffs. That's what it is. Silver sees the $$$ the soccer tournaments draw and wants that, but as mentioned these are different sports.
 

bankshot1

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For a league filled with teams that routinely sit the stars with DNPs to save them for the post-season, they now want to create false competition to fill the mid-season/February lull? Not interested.
 

ragnarok725

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What if you simplify the "so-what" a bit, and make it build towards the playoffs same as other regular season games?
  • All teams are included, single-elimination knock-out format, entirely random draw.
  • Games every 2nd or 3rd day, so the competition only lasts about 2 weeks
  • Every win is counted as a bonus win in the season standings. Losses are not counted, but you are eliminated from accruing any other bonus wins.
    • A win in the finals of the tournament = +3 wins.
    • The total number of wins the tournament winner gets is +7 wins in the standings.
    • 1 million to each player of the winning team on top of the team benefit.
  • Couple this with a change to the NBA playoff structure.
    • Drop the total number of teams from 8 to 7 in each conference. Top team from each conference gets a first round bye, same as the NFL.
  • Make a fun looking trophy, and have a tourney MVP award.
The net result would be teams incentivized to go hard both for the potential bonus in the standings and a huge leg up in reaching for the first round bye, as well as the extra cash for all the players.

It may not be enough to make teams go hard, but a single game knock-out tournament is fun for fans just by its very nature. If you can find any way to put the right stakes together, it would be a fun watch.
 
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DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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First, if this idea is economically viable, its going to be tried out. Furthermore, the NBA is relatively quick at adapting and adjusting vs the other major sports leagues so if they get the incentives wrong, they are likely to fix it before making it a permanent part of the schedule. I don't see the league running its most valuable assets in the ground for a short term gain but its possible.

Finally, I don't understand how anyone can say a mid season tourney won't work, especially when we don't have any details. There are scenarios where its a success and maybe the players will welcome a new wrinkle in what seems like a tedious schedule, especially on the back-end of the season. Or maybe they won't but dismissing this now seems premature.
 

nighthob

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Unlike soccer, the NBA vs Euro teams isn’t remotely competitive when the NBA players are in mid-season game condition. This wouldn’t work.
You could let in the seven top international teams and the Cleveland Cavaliers represent the NBA. That way even if they lose no one notices or cares.
 

bankshot1

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The hell with teams. The NBA has become a BFF "let's play together"drama. So set it up as 32 or 64 2or 3-man teams tourney playing half-court playground ball.

Each team posts its own entry fee (whatever $100k per team, or maybe sliding scale depending on team ranking, #1 seed pays $1M, #64 $10K, I'm spitballing)

One and dones, 15 point games, win by 2.

Finals best 2 of 3.

Winner takes all.

NBA matches with donation to charity.

Play it in a weekend.

I would watch this.
 
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benhogan

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If I recall correctly, the top Premiership teams play their scrubs/minor leaguers in the FA Cup games (it's a season-long tournament that plays in the background of the league). The FA Cup dates back much longer than the Premiership so it has some historical cache.

Funny enough the Premiership has the same issue with load managing their stars (soccer stars also have grueling off-seasons w/their country teams playing in Euro or World Cup)

The lower-level/relegated squads fans, usually located in smallish cities, get juiced to play the Man United and Arsenal's of the world. So it would be like the UConn Huskies playing the Maine Red Claws (disguised as the Boston Celtics)

I like the current NBA product so I really don't need bells and whistles attached to it. I dread All-Star weekend, so I'm probably not going for the Facebook-sponsored midseason Tournament. Then again I thought the play-in game was a gimmick and that seemed to be a success (by Adam Silver/Charles Steinberg standards).
 
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slamminsammya

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If I recall correctly, the top Premiership teams play their scrubs/minor leaguers in the FA Cup games (it's a season-long tournament that plays in the background of the league). The FA Cup dates back much longer than the Premiership so it has some historical cache.

Funny enough the Premiership has the same issue with load managing their stars (soccer stars also have grueling off-seasons w/their country teams playing in Euro or World Cup)

The lower-level/relegated squads fans, usually located in smallish cities, get juiced to play the Man United and Arsenal's of the world. So it would be like the UConn Huskies playing the Maine Red Claws (disguised as the Boston Celtics)

I like the current NBA product so I really don't need bells and whistles attached to it. I dread All-Star weekend, so I'm probably not going for the Facebook-sponsored midseason Tournament. Then again I thought the play-in game was a gimmick and that seemed to be a success (by Adam Silver/Charles Steinberg standards).
This is not totally right. The FA cup is prestigious and at least for the latter rounds teams want to win and play their top team. This is true to some extent even when its ManU versus FA Bumswich Town.

The League Cup is the lesser cup where teams usually just play the young guys who never sniff the first team in normal matches.
 

benhogan

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This is not totally right. The FA cup is prestigious and at least for the latter rounds teams want to win and play their top team. This is true to some extent even when its ManU versus FA Bumswich Town.

The League Cup is the lesser cup where teams usually just play the young guys who never sniff the first team in normal matches.
yea, maybe I got all the Cups mixed up. I do recall going with my Geordie girlfriend at the time to a Newcastle v Chelsea Semis at Wembly. NUFC did play all their starters in that game but there were months of early-round matches that was scrub time. Chelsea won and didn't play all their stars ( they were dominant at that time).