Mar 1, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) reacts after a play during the third quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. The Rockets defeated the Cavaliers 105-103. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-187998 ORIG FILE ID: 20150301_lbm_at5_534.JPG
Home » Blog » LeBron James Against Play-In Tournament for NBA Postseason

LeBron James Against Play-In Tournament for NBA Postseason

Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star LeBron James has spoken out against proposed changes to the NBA postseason format.

LeBron is certainly not afraid to speak critically on basketball issues, especially this season. This time his concern is the potential denigration of the accomplishment of qualifying for the NBA playoffs.

According to ESPN, the NBA is considering adopting a play-in tournament with one-and-done consequences. Currently, the teams with the 8 best records in each conference qualify for the postseason.

Per ESPN, there’s “ behind-the-scenes momentum for the idea of a play-in tournament determining the last two seeds in each conference”. Apparently, there are two serious proposals regarding this circulating at the highest levels of the league office.

The proposed format change would allow two four-team tournaments with the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th seeds from each conference.

The seventh seed would play the eighth seed. The winner of that game would win the seventh playoff spot. The ninth seed would play the tenth seed, and the winner woud face the loser of the 7-8 matchup to secure the final playoff spot.

LeBron James is adamantly against such an expansion. He said that the 8 best teams from each conference should make the playoffs without needing further qualification.

“That’s wack. That’s wack. Why? You got to earn your spot to be in the postseason. No consolation for finishing last. That’s corny. That’s corny, that’s wack. To play for what? What are they playing for?”


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Given that the NBA season is already 82 games long, LeBron James is unlikely to be the only person with concerns. It would certainly lessen the importance of the regular season, which is surely a fair measure of the best teams.

LeBron James knows what he’s talking about when it comes to qualifying for the playoffs. He hasn’t missed the postseason since his second year, and he hasn’t missed the finals since 2010. He’s also never lost in the first round.

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