Should the NBA feature an in-season cup tournament?
Posted by: Charlie Smith
The answer to this question, according to Fox Sports’ Dieter Kurtenbach, is yes. And from the sportsbook NBA point of view, that is a sentiment we can fully get behind. The more chances for people to bet on NBA basketball, the better. However, such an arrangement is seldom seen outside of soccer leagues, and unheard of in ‘Merica’s top four professional sportsball leagues. As a matter fact, when NBA commissioner Adam Silver suggested the possibility in the past couple of years, most stakeholders were like, “shouldn’t you just go back to trying to frame Roger Rabbit?”
But if the NBA won’t listen to its own commissioner, it will certainly listen to LeBron James. What the King wants, the King gets. When Mr. Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year says “frog” the NBA jumps. Like with that NBA app thingy. The NBA is a sentient being, right? The point is that LeBron wants a shorter regular season. Dirk Nowitzki would also like eine kürzere reguläre saison. But mostly James. And about half of the league’s team wouldn’t mind skipping to the parts of the season that really matters the most to them – either the playoffs or the draft.
Newsflash, Dieter; the players aren’t the only ones who would appreciate a shorter season. While the players could use a little less physical activity, people sitting on their keysters upwards of two hours either at home or in an arena, guzzling beer and gormandizing on nachos could use a lot more exercise. Unfortunately, the NFL – though not without many other flaws – is the only league in the USA and arguably the world that has mastered that whole “less is more” concept. So who keeps the season about 66 games longer than it should be? Why, the team owners. The suits. The execs. The eeeeeevil corporation. OCP. Cyberdyne. Weyland-Yutani. PETA.
While the sportsbook NBA favorites go for the championship (and the money), and the underdogs go for the draft picks (and the money) that will turn them into the favorites of the future, the teams in the middle go solely for the money that 41 home games can make them. And why wouldn’t they? They can aspire neither to rookie sensations nor to championship trophies. Or could they? That is one of the reasons Kurtenbach cites as incentive to create an in-season cup tournament; not would wit shorten the season for teams on the upper and lower echelons, but it would give teams in the mid-tiers something to shoot for: a brand new, different trophy. Sort of like the Intercontinental Title.
Another reason is that it would kind of like a pre-post-season, an early taste of the excitement of the playoffs – which as any online sportsbook NBA fan knows, is to the regular season what the fourth quarter is to each and every single game. Kurtenbach suggests that the tournament “would be limited to the 30 teams in the league.” Why not throw a little CBA in there, though? The CBA still exists, right? Well, if it doesn’t forget we said anything.