If you are a fan of the Detroit Pistons, you’ve probably been cheering for your team to lose down the stretch in the last three seasons, which isn’t the most enjoyable way to watch basketball.
The NBA’s regular season has become a tale of the haves and have nots, as the fans of the good teams get to watch their squad vying for playoff position, while the fans of the bad teams are stuck dreaming of lottery balls.
The NBA wants to do something to shake it up, to give more meaning to the regular season by giving all teams something to play for, even the bad ones.
They have come up with the idea of an in-season tournament, which has plenty of potential pros and cons, as I broke down in an article when the news first broke.
I welcome the idea of this type of change overall. but what the NBA has suggested so far has left fans saying “meh, who cares?” which I don’t think was the goal.
Detroit Pistons: More leaks about an NBA in-season tournament
More details have leaked about the NBA’s proposed ideas, probably to test the waters to see the fan response.
Shams Charania of The Athletic dropped a few more specifics about the NBA’s in-season tournament and the fan reaction was, well, underwhelming:
I’d say these two tweets sum up fan sentiment, as most either sad it was a flat-out bad idea or was pointless at best.
Considering these are just regular season games that are part of the 82-game schedule, I tend to agree, as calling something a “Cup” game really doesn’t change the fact that it is just a regular season game. This is far from the European Champion’s League, where teams play the extra games of the tournament in addition to their normal league schedule.
But the real issue fans have is that there really isn’t anything in it for us. The proposed “reward” for winning this cup is a $1 million payout to every player on the winning team. Great! I hope these multi-millionaires who already have generational wealth can finally pay their heating bills!
It’s not that I care that players will be making even more money, but that’s the point, I don’t care. For fans to have any interest in this in-season tournament, the NBA is going to have to do more than slap the work “Cup” on a regular season game and pad the winners pockets with money that is pretty much chump-change for some of these guys, many of whom would probably just hand it over to charity (which is the one upside to this, really).
How about the winning team gets more lottery balls? Or a guarantee of home court advantage in the playoffs? Or how about you give a million dollars to 12 random fans? A million dollars may not be enough motivation for the players to care, but if you were giving it to a bunch of random fans in the crowd of the final game, I guarantee you people will be buying those tickets in droves.
I hope there is more to it than this, as fans going through a cost of living crisis aren’t really going to get excited about millionaires getting richer for playing regular season games that they were going to play anyway.
I like the idea and hope they sort it out, but right now, this ain’t it.