Potential NBA Season Format Changes
On December 20, 2019, The NBA proposed rule changes of the season format. They would potentially be in effect as early as the 2021-22 season. Some of these changes are praised by fans for their potential to make the NBA more exciting, while some changes are controversial and confusing as to how they would fit in the NBA. These changes will be very interesting to all NBA fans, whether they are for these changes or against them. The question that remains is if the NBA season format changes will benefit or hurt the league.
Regular Season Changes
With some of these proposals, there will be changes in the regular season. One of the changes is shortening the length of the regular season. The season would be shortened from the traditional 82 games to 78 games. This change hasn’t had a lot of praise or criticism.
Another regular season change is the implication of a midseason tournament with a prize of one million dollars per player and one and a half million for the coach. Another incentive discussed has been to award an extra draft pick to the winning franchise. To the fans, this idea has mainly come off as confusing and nonsensical, with a lot of criticism.
That criticism is mainly due to the question of how it would fit in the NBA. Even with the backlash this idea has received, it has seen success in sports like soccer and even the college level where we see a bunch of midseason tournaments happen. Also, the idea is brand new for the sport of basketball so it really could work or it couldn’t, and this could be an interesting experiment.
Post Season Changes
Along with changes in the regular season, there are also changes within the postseason as well. A change that they’re talking about implementing is a knockout round between the 7th and 8th seeds from each conference. This is something that will excite the NBA fan base and will give the regular season a lot more meaning. This could also potentially change the playoff layout, in which the first seed gets a first-round bye.
The other change that would be made is the rearrangement of the semifinal rounds. The way they are discussing arranging it is that the semi-finalists will be ranked one through four based on their record. This has received a lot of praise for the potential of a West vs. West or an East vs. East NBA Finals.
With the way the season has been laid out for so long, experimenting with these new ideas may not be a bad idea. Some of these ideas could actually help the NBA brand grow in terms of things such as their postseason viewership. Even with the praise of all the changes to the postseason, most fans would be fine without the idea of an in-season tournament. Even though the idea is definitely out of the box, it’s probably too much out of the box for the NBA, despite it being successful in other sports. For the most part, a lot of these proposals are great ideas and would help the NBA brand grow and expand to reach a bunch of new fans.