The NBA season is about to get very interesting. League commissioner Adam Silver intends to roll out the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament in 2023-24, which naturally, has garnered mixed reactions from fans and experts alike. At this point, even Silver admits that he does not expect this new innovation to take off instantaneously.
Adam Silver is playing the long game here. He's heard all the criticism of his novel idea, and to some extent, he agrees with them. However, the high-ranking league executive is adamant that this in-season tournament aligns with his long-term vision for the NBA:
“New traditions aren't created overnight,” Silver said. “Some people said to me, ‘Well, who's gonna care who wins that?' I said, ‘Okay, well, that's not gonna happen maybe the first time around.'”
Silver also hinted at the prospect of rewarding teams for their success in the upcoming tournament. After all, this project surely will not succeed unless it gets the full support of all 30 teams in the NBA:
“Will there be incentives to win? Sure,” he stated. “It's a business. There could be financial incentives, too.”
"Let's say it was the [David] Stern Cup… We have to recognize the casual fan that wants to know there's something more at stake and that's where I think these cup competitions come in."
Adam Silver on the In-Season Tournament.
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) July 26, 2023
At the end of the day, the ultimate objective here is for the NBA to create a higher demand for its product. Adam Silver is well aware of the endless options viewers have in terms of the entertainment that is readily available at their fingertips, and for him, one way the league can compete against this is by drumming up more interest in the NBA:
“We have to recognize the casual fan that wants to know there's something more at stake and that's where I think these cup competitions come in,” Silver said.
You have to respect this man's vision. He's taking a huge risk here and we shall all see if it will pay dividends soon enough.