’90s rules, agency wars, and other ideas for an NBA midseason tournament

’90s rules, agency wars, and other ideas for an NBA midseason tournament

Imagination is the word I’d yell at the league office when trying to come up with a format worth watching

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I know I’m not the only one rolling my eyes at the NBA trying to come up with a midseason tournament format worthy of getting players to compete at the highest level. This is going to be like summer camp for teams once they’re eliminated, and if I was in the league, I’d think about throwing a contest or two for a week-plus of off days.

The NBA doesn’t have any creative ideas to get us to watch, so allow me to throw some ideas and chewed gum into the suggestion box. If you’re looking for logical solutions, we’ve got those, too, but this isn’t that. 

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Which state/country does it best?

Which state/country does it best?

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This is specifically inspired by soccer, and would involve NBA players but not NBA teams. What’s the most passionate form of soccer? That’s easy. It’s the World Cup. National teams are so ingrained with pride that the Italian team belts out the anthem with tears streaming down their cheeks before friendlies and Euros alike.

However, the USA vs. the world format has been done before, and nobody cares. What I’m proposing is state versus state, individual European countries, or even just regions. You’re telling me a team full of New Yorkers playing all Chicagoans wouldn’t prompt a million arguments on Twitter? There could be an Eastern European squad featuring Luka Dončić and Nikola Jokic (both pictured).

The Pacific Northwest team would be incredible. So would the South squad, with Ja Morant and Zion Williamson both hailing from South Carolina. It’d take some tweaking, but fans love to rep hometown guys and show pride in their city or part of the world.

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Agency wars

Agency wars

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This will never ever happen. But how glorious would it be if CAA and Clutch faced off for pink slips? Winner gets to steal the client of their choice. Can you imagine LeBron James throwing the tournament so he can foist that loser Anthony Davis (pictured) off on another agency and subsequently another team?

I feel like half the league is untradeable because of allegiances to agents, which means there’s a whole mess of talent that would be available. There could even be a small agency team. I’m not sure who would be on it, but I know the Donda Sports clients recently lost representation. 

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Create-a-rival

Create-a-rival

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There’s nothing worse than forced rivalries in the NBA. Everybody is drinking wine on each others’ podcasts and discussing how the old media sucks. Well, how about we drum up some hate? The best way to do that is by making one team play another over and over again until they snap.

If ESPN and the NBA want Knicks and Celtics fans to hate each other like the blood feud between Yankees and Red Sox followers, then they’re going to have to play each other a ton. We’ll call it the Tournament of Rivals, and the winner of each series has to play the teams that fans most want to have bad blood with. Basically, James Harden versus the Nets and Rockets, LeBron against the teams that hate him, or whatever the feud du jour is for that particular week or season.

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The best small ball to rule them all

The best small ball to rule them all

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This format would exclude players over a certain height. I don’t know what the arbitrary cutoff would be, or if it’s just guys short for their position, but messing with the height requirements in a league where people yell that size matters is interesting to me. Maybe guys can only play with guys their size.

The winner of the small ball tournament could face the winner of the tall ball tournament, and then we could count how many times Rudy Gobert (above) gets blown past. I don’t know. It’s certainly better than a new/fake trophy. 

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‘Back in my day’ tournament

‘Back in my day’ tournament

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People are always complaining about how soft the league has become with refs calling the smallest amount of contact. Old heads sit in studios and make claims about how this soft so-and-so wouldn’t have been allowed in the paint in his era.

Well, let’s see how LeBron would fare if he could be clotheslined on any given drive to the bucket. I want to see how Steph Curry would do if you could actually be physical and hand-check the fuck out of him. Give these guys an opportunity to get off those flagrant common fouls so they’re not getting suspended and fined all of the time.

It’s like a rage room but with basketball. You could get rid of the 3-point line, and see how that goes, or even the shot clock and watch Twitter explode. So many variables, and so many possibilities to stop pointless arguments.

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