‣ The NBA’s In-Season Tournament’s group stages have ended, with teams preparing for the quarterfinals and the final rounds in Las Vegas. The competition is gaining new fans, including basketball players like Kevin Durant.
‣ Durant has praised the unique atmosphere of the tournament, highlighting the new look, the customized courts, unique jerseys and branding. He also emphasized that the tournament is not about satisfying the athletes, but about pleasing the fans and consumers.
‣ Not all players and coaches are satisfied with the tournament, with some expressing discomfort with the point-difference rule. Despite this, others believe the competition has met its intended purpose.
Kevin Durant discusses Tuesday’s NBA in-season tournament quarterfinal vs. LeBron James and the Lakers.
— Mike Bohn (@MikeBohn)
The In-Season Tournament’s group stages have wrapped up. Teams are now gearing up for the quarterfinals, with the final rounds set to take place in Las Vegas. This first edition of the tournament is slowly winning over new fans, including some big names in basketball.
Kevin Durant, for instance, has come out as a fan of the NBA’s latest venture. He’s said that the tournament atmosphere is a refreshing change from the regular-season games.
The Suns lost to the Toronto Raptors this Wednesday. Despite the defeat, they’ve qualified for the quarterfinals and are set to face off against the Los Angeles Lakers next week. The victor of this match will progress to the next round in Las Vegas.
Durant had a chat about the upcoming quarterfinal against LeBron James and the Lakers. He seems pretty psyched about it.
The In-Season cup has been getting some solid reviews of late. Durant has spoken about how the new look, custom courts, unique jerseys, and branding have added an interesting twist to the tournament. He’s shared his personal perspective as a player.
Durant said, “We have played in bigger games. But fans love high-intensity regular-season games. That’s why we got the tournament, to please the fans. They weren’t satisfied with the level of ball we were playing in the regular season.”
However, Durant, who’s 35, understands that the real goal of this competition isn’t to please the athletes. It’s about convincing the fans that this could become a new, cherished tradition in the NBA.
Durant explained, “It’s not really about how we feel. It’s about how the consumer feels about what they see. Hopefully, they enjoy it. Whatever the consumer and the fan wants, the NBA and Adam Silver will do their best to give it to them. We, as players, will continue to go about our business as we always do.”
But not everyone’s thrilled about the In-Season Tournament. Players and coaches have differing opinions on it.
Cleveland secured their third win of the In-Season Tournament on Tuesday against Atlanta. However, they didn’t make it to the next round due to the point-difference rule. Despite finishing second in their group, the Cavs needed to rack up more points to qualify.
Darius Garland, a player from the Cavs, said, “It’s kind of different. It’s not respecting the game as much as I want it to be. I took a shot with like 25 seconds left and I didn’t feel comfortable doing it. The point differential is the thing that people around the league would like to change I believe.”
On the flip side, Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau thinks the competition has met its intended purpose. His team earned the wild-card spot into the quarterfinals.
After their 115-91 win over the Charlotte Hornets, Thibodeau said, “I guess it’s met its intended purpose.” His player, Josh Hart, called the point-differential rule “weird”, but also said “it’s an interesting concept.”