The NBA’s 82-game schedule is already a grind so why would the league even float an idea of a midseason tournament?
From Steve Aschburner of NBA.com
“The popularity of the summer league in Las Vegas – with attendance up 25 percent, Silver said – has the league open to ideas for a greater role in the nation’s gambling capital. One possibility, mentioned without details as a brainstorm from the competition committee: A midseason tournament of some sort.”
There is a lot to be decided before this idea of a midseason classic gets any traction but it is an interesting idea especially if it involves international teams. However, a tournament like this would have to be agreed upon by both the league and its players, with the players getting proper compensation for the extra work.
So, let’s imagine that the NBA does create a mid-season event– a better idea maybe do it at the end of the season -- that includes international teams.
How could it work?
The NBA would send eight teams to the 16 or 24 team field, the teams would be chosen through a collaboration of the league and its owners. Each NBA team would have to put up a $100,000 buy-in amount.
The other eight to 16 teams would come from Spain’s Liga ACB, Greek League, Israeli Super League, Italian LegaBasketball SerieA, Lithuanian Basketball League, Russia VTB United League, Turkish Basketball League, Polish Basketball League, France’s LNB Pro A, and Croatian League. Examples of these teams would include Pallacanestro Virtus Roma, Olimpia Milano, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Panathinaikos, Olympiacos, CSKA Moscow and Maccabi Tel Aviv.
The European teams would be selected based on their record, strength of schedule and players that they have (I.e. potential/current NBA prospects) playing for them.
The European teams would also put up $100,000 as an entry fee for a total of $1.6 million or $2.4 million pool. The NBA would pay for all travel and hotel arrangements for the teams and officials as well as the venue out of the entry money. The league would get 75 percent of all ticket sales as well as all media rights fees.
The setup of the league would be split into two or three divisions of eight teams. Each team would play the other teams in their division once for a total of seven games. The games would be 48 minutes long and teams would be allow to earn a point for each quarter they win (just like in the summer leagues).
Following, pool play eight teams would advance to the playoffs (whether 16 or 24 teams are in the competition) and there would be best of three game series for all playoff games – quarterfinals, semifinals and finals.
The winner of the tournament would get trophies/medals and the owner would receive prize money approximately $1 million. Every team that participates will receive a portion of the gate sales plus any team related items that are sold.