Here's How We Picture Adam Silver's Mid-Season Basketball Tournament

  • Jake O'Donnell

Speaking in front of reporters at the Las Vegas Summer League, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver threw out the idea of a mid-season basketball tournament similar to the Champions League or other league cups played concurrent with the regular seasons in European soccer leagues. It makes sense, seeing as the energy of your average NBA game dramatically drops off during the month of January, such a move could give some teams a much needed rest, others a much needed boost, while giving fans something novel and exciting to watch.

While the details of such a monumental change in the league’s format are sparse — a mid-season tournament does not exist in any of the major American professional sports — we’ve been busy wracking our brains to figure the best way of making something like this worthwhile for both fans and players.

So we did.

Our considerations were as follows:

– NBA teams should not dominate
– Do not punish the league’s top teams by making them play more games than they have to
– Try to include enough foreign teams as to increase the chance that one of them actually wins
– Make it conducive to young player development
– It can’t take more than two weeks

And this is what we came up with:

– Four best records from Spain, Turkey, Argentina, Greece, and Eastern Europe* (20 teams)
– Two best records from Israel, Germany, France, Russia, England, The Netherlands, China, Italy, Australia, and the Caribbean* (20 teams)
-Ten best records in the NBDL (10 teams)
-NBA teams that did not make playoffs the previous year (14 teams)

Total team pool = 64 teams (ring a bell?)

    Tournament Format:

Single elimination with games played a day apart over the course of two weeks.


Olympic rules, meaning quarters are reduced to 10 minutes.


The MGM Grand

What do you think? We want your input…

survey service

*We’re not certain which leagues in these parts of the world are considered “the best”