The NBA could soon look completely different, as commissioner Adam Silver’s long-talked-about plan to shake up the league’s blueprint is gaining momentum.
The league, its broadcast partners and the player’s association are in serious discussions regarding a reseeding of the four conference finalists, a 30-team in-season tournament, a postseason play-in and cutting down the regular season from its current 82-game slate to a minimum of 78, according to ESPN.
These changes could be implemented as soon as by the 2021-22 season — the NBA’s 75th anniversary — provided the league’s Board of Governors votes on the initiatives at its meetings in May.
The report comes after The Post’s Andrew Marchand highlighted the NBA’s fight to combat its sinking national TV ratings, which is largely because of stars sitting out and de-emphasizing regular season games to better prepare for the postseason, commonly referred to as “load management.”
As incentive to not sit out, teams and players would further be compensated for advancing and winning the in-season tournament, which would begin after Thanksgiving.
Silver has spoken previously about adding a tournament modeled after European soccer, among other major moves to widen fan interest.
“I also recognize I’m up against some of the traditionalists who say no one will care about that other competition, that other trophy, you create,” Silver told the New York Times in the spring. “And my response to that is, ‘Organizations have the ability to create new traditions.’ It won’t happen overnight.”
While the tournament is expected to make a lot of noise, the final-four-playoff reseeding could pit two of the league’s true best teams against one another in the NBA Finals. Currently the Eastern Conference champion faces off against the Western Conference champion for the title, which isn’t always a reflection of the league’s two best teams.
In addition, the playoff play-in proposal, as outlined by ESPN would include two four-team tournaments featuring the seventh, eighth, ninth, and 10th seeds in each conference. The seventh seed would host the eighth seed, with the winner of that single game earning the seventh spot. The loser would play the winner of the ninth seed vs. the 10th seed for the final playoff spot.