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Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban Is Against Adding Mid-Season Tournament To NBA Schedule: "I Can See The Mavericks Not Participating At All Or Resting Our Best Players..."

Mark Cuban

As league insider Shams Charania revealed earlier today, an in-season tournament is currently in the works for the NBA. In light of the resounding success of the play-in tourney, Adam Silver and league execs are convinced that adding a one-and-done elimination-style tournament will make a great addition to the yearly schedule.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban however, is less than convinced. In an interview last year, he explained that he's not a fan of the idea and may even prevent certain players from participating if it ends up getting added.

(via FortyEightMinutes):

“Well, there’s the play-in tournament, which I liked. I just didn’t like last year with all the COVID issues. Okay, well, we just create a different level of pressure. But generally moving forward, I’m fine with it in a regular season,” said Cuban.

“In terms of an in-season tournament, I’m not a fan. I am definitely not a fan. It’s just I can see the Mavs just not participating at all or resting our best players because until they give me one of those things back there (points to trophy behind him) the Larry O’Brien for that, you know, the prize is the prize and you got to keep your eye on it.”

Of course, we don't know if Cuban still feels that way now, but his words do express some glaring issues with adding an in-season tournament.

For many players and teams, there just isn't enough reason to compete. No matter what kind of rewards the NBA comes up with, every competitive team in the league will be focused on the Larry O'Brien trophy more than anything else.


Mavs Owner Mark Cuban May Tell His Team Not To Participate In The NBA's Mid-Season Tournament

There are ways that the league could respond. If they offer a case reward or some kind of advantage in the playoffs, players might be more open to going all-out. The league could also use the advice of Rob Perez, who had a very interesting suggestion for how a mid-season tournament could work.

Dear NBA: you want people to care about your mid-season tournament? Let the popularity of this Drew League game serve as an example and host it at iconic basketball locations/gyms/parks throughout the country. Capture the magic of The Rose Bowl, but basketball.

Clearly, the league is dead set on at least trying out a mid-season bracket. In the worst-case scenario, they could always take it back and remove it from the schedule.  

For now, though, things are moving in a certain direction, and it will be interesting to see which players, teams, and executives push back on some of these possible changes.