The NBA's play-in tournament was a big success last season in terms of ratings, so it's not surprising to see that the league wanted to keep him for the foreseeable future.
Then again, we have to take those numbers with a grain of salt and take a look at the context, as it's just unlikely that we'll have a LeBron James' Lakers vs. Stephen Curry's Warriors matchup in the play-in tournament too often.
Also, the players don't seem to be too fond of the idea either, as it prevents them from getting some much-needed rest ahead of the playoffs, not to mention that a 7th seed could miss the postseason after a full season of tough work.
Recently, Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss had a sit-down with Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic, giving her thoughts on this controversial idea:
(Transcript via The Athletic)
"I obviously see the excitement of it. If we would have lost two games, we wouldn’t have been in the playoffs at all. And that’s, that’s a tough pill to swallow. When you’ve been in the top eight for the entire season. You never dropped out of the playoff position. But yet, you know, you can lose two games, and that’s what happened to Golden State, they were at the eighth spot, and then they ended up losing to us and then to Memphis and they didn’t make it in the playoffs. I could see where it’s kind of fun for one game, but I don’t want to diminish what happens in the regular season.
They like to say that it combats tanking and I think tanking would be best served by losing draft picks, something that hurts the basketball department as opposed to a financial punishment, right? Because the general manager’s job is based on wins and losses. The general manager’s job isn’t based on how many season tickets you sell, or how many sponsors."
At the end of the day, the league will do whatever it takes to keep fans hooked and get as many stars as possible in the playoffs, so maybe this idea could be kind of counterproductive in the long run.
But for now, the play-in tournament isn't going to go away, even if that means a superstar like Stephen Curry misses the postseason because of it.