Steve Kerr claims that he loves the play in tournament format that the league has employed, as opposed to LeBron James and Luka.
Following the suspension of the 2019-20 NBA season, the league decided to host the remaining 8 seeding games and Playoffs in a Bubble in DisneyWorld, Florida. However, to make it fair for teams to snags lower seeds in the standings, they employed a play in game. The Bubble featured an exciting one between the Blazers and the Grizzlies, with the former winning the first game to advance to the Playoffs.
This season, Adam Silver and the league seem to be quite enamored by the play in format and decided to properly imply it going forward. This was no surprise as Commissioner Silver has always looked to ‘spice’ things up in the regular season.
With teams desperately trying to avoid the 7th seed to avoid the play in tournament, LeBron James spoke out against the newly employed format, saying whoever came up with the idea needs to be fired. Funnily enough, these comments by him came after the Lakers faced the threat of falling in to the play in.
Steve Kerr believes the play in tournament is good for the NBA, unlike LeBron James.
On the other hand, teams like the Golden State Warriors have been embracing this new play in format. Steph Curry has fought tooth and nail this season to put the Warriors in a position to be an 8th seed at the very least, qualifying them for game one of the play in tournament. Dubs head coach Steve Kerr backs the idea of the aforementioned tournament.
“I love it. The last month’s been infinitely more interesting for NBA fans. It’s great. If you finish 7th and you lose two games straight, then you probably weren’t good enough to advance to the Playoffs anyway. That’s just the truth.”
Kerr seems to have an opposing view to LeBron James and may actually be in the right on this one. Not only will the play in tourney draw in more viewers and attention, but the build up to the play in has also been very exciting to watch. Usually, the last 20-25 games of a season aren’t regarded as ‘must watch TV’.
However, with these new play in implications, the entirety of the 5-8 seeds in both conferences can be shaken up, matching higher seeds up with teams that are formidable opponents. As the play in rules start to evolve, the league might take into consideration Zach Lowe’s request of the number 1 seed being able to choose their opponent from the 7th and 8th seed locks.