The NBA is attempting to increase interest in the regular season with its introduction of the first-ever in-season tournament. All 30 teams are split into six groups, with eight advancing to the knockout rounds to compete for cash prizes.

The team that wins the tournament will be crowned with the NBA Cup. Each player on the winning team will take home $500,000; players on the second-place team will receive $200,000 each; players on losing semifinals teams will receive $100,000 each; and players on the quarterfinalist teams will receive $50,000 each. Even the coaches will get in on prize money if their teams succeed.

Ben Simmons' take on the NBA In-Season Tournament

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Ben Simmons and the Brooklyn Nets will kick off the tournament Friday in Chicago. While the league is attempting to build intrigue around the regular season using the event, the three-time All-Star kept it real when asked about his feelings on the tournament.

“At the end of the day, the championship is our goal,” Simmons said. “It would be nice to win the tournament, but at the end of the day, the major goal is to win the championship.”

The NBA has split each conference into three groups for the tournament, with each team playing four group play games. Eight teams will advance to the knockout rounds: the winner of each group and two “wild card” teams (the team from each conference with the best record in group play games that finished second in its group).

The knockout round will be single elimination, with the semifinals and finals held on Dec. 7 and 9 in Las Vegas. All games except the championship will count towards regular-season records.

That last line appears to be all that matters to Ben Simmons, who wasn't familiar with the tournament's format ahead of Brooklyn's first game.

“Nah, all I know is whoever we play we gotta play and each game is very important,” he said when asked if he knew how the tournament works. “That's how I feel about every game we play.”

Brooklyn will compete in the Eastern Conference's Group C alongside the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Orlando Magic and Toronto Raptors. After the Nets' road matchup with Chicago on Friday, their next tournament appearance will come on Nov. 10 in a nationally televised road matchup with the Celtics. They'll then finish group play with home matchups against the Magic and Raptors on Nov. 14 and 28.