NBA reveals details for In-Season Tournament

On Saturday, the NBA unveiled details of the NBA In-Season Tournament, a new annual competition for all 30 teams that will debut in the 2023-24 regular season.

The inaugural In-Season Tournament will tip off on Friday, Nov. 3 in NBA team markets and culminate with the playing of the Semifinals (Thursday, Dec. 7) and Championship (Saturday, Dec. 9) at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The In-Season Tournament will consist of two stages:  Group Play and the Knockout Rounds.

1. Group Play:  As revealed today on ESPN and outlined below, all 30 teams have been randomly drawn into groups of five within their conference based on win-loss records from the 2022-23 regular season.  Each team will play four designated Group Play games – one game against each opponent in its group, with two games at home and two on the road – on “Tournament Nights,” which will take place every Tuesday and Friday from Nov. 3-28 (with the exception of Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 7, when no games will be played).  The only NBA games played on Tournament Nights will be Group Play games.

2. Knockout Rounds:  Eight teams will advance to the Knockout Rounds:  the team with the best standing in Group Play games in each of the six groups and two “wild cards” (the team from each conference with the best record in Group Play games that finished second in its group).  The Knockout Rounds will consist of single-elimination games in the Quarterfinals (played in NBA team markets on Monday, Dec. 4 and Tuesday, Dec. 5) and Semifinals and Championship (played in Las Vegas on Dec. 7 and Dec. 9, respectively).  The Knockout teams will compete for a prize pool and the new In-Season Tournament trophy, the NBA Cup.

The 67 games across both stages of the In-Season Tournament will count toward the regular-season standings except the Championship.  Each team will continue to play 82 regular-season games in the 2023-24 season, including those games that are part of Group Play and the Knockout Rounds.

Fourteen Group Play games (two games on each Tournament Night) and all seven Knockout Round games will be televised nationally.  The game and broadcast schedule for the In-Season Tournament Group Play stage will be announced in August.

More details about the In-Season Tournament are below:

Group Play Draw

To determine each team’s opponents in the Group Play games, the 15 teams in each conference were divided into three groups of five teams via a random drawing.  The groups are below:


Western Conference

Eastern Conference

West Group A

West Group B

West Group C

East Group A

East Group B

East Group C









LA Clippers

Golden State


New York


L.A. Lakers

New Orleans







Oklahoma City






San Antonio




Before the drawing, each team was placed into a “pot” based on its record from the prior regular season (2022-23).  In each conference, one team from each pot was randomly selected into each of the three groups in that conference.  The pots were as follows:

  • Pot 1:  The teams with the three best prior-season records in a conference.

  • Pot 2:  The teams with the fourth- through sixth-best prior-season records.

  • Pot 3:  The teams with the seventh- through ninth-best prior-season records.

  • Pot 4:  The teams with the 10th– through 12th-best prior-season records.

  • Pot 5:  The teams with the 13th– through 15th-best prior-season records.

Knockout Rounds:

In each conference, Quarterfinal games will be hosted by the two teams with the best record in Group Play games, and the team with the best record in Group Play games will host the wild card team.

During the Knockout Rounds on days when In-Season Tournament games are not scheduled (Wednesday, Dec. 6 and Friday, Dec. 8), the 22 teams that do not qualify for the Knockout Rounds will each play two regular-season games.  The four teams that lose in the Quarterfinals will each play a regular-season game on Dec. 8.

Prize Pool:

For the 2023-24 season, the In-Season Tournament prize pool will be allocated to the players on the teams that participate in the Knockout Rounds as follows:

  • Players on winning team of Championship:  $500,000 each

  • Players on losing team of Championship:  $200,000 each

  • Players on losing team of Semifinals:  $100,000 each

  • Players on losing team of Quarterfinals:  $50,000 each

League Honors;

At the conclusion of the In-Season Tournament, the NBA will name the Most Valuable Player of the In-Season Tournament and the All-Tournament Team.  Selection will be based on the players’ performance in both Group Play and the Knockout Rounds.

NBA suspends Ja Morant for 25 games

During the Finals, NBA commissioner Adam Silver hinted at a possible suspension for Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant;

On Friday, Silver and the NBA made their decision. The league announced that Morant would be suspended 25 games without pay for conduct detrimental to the league.

Morant’s suspension begins immediately and will remain in effect through the first 25 games of the 2023-24 NBA regular season for which he is otherwise eligible and able to play.  He will also be required to meet certain conditions before he returns to play and will be ineligible to participate in any public league or team activities, including preseason games, during the course of his suspension.

According to the league, Morant posed with a firearm in a car during a live-streamed video on May 13, less than two months after he was suspended eight games without pay for the live streaming of a video on March 4 in which he displayed a firearm while in an intoxicated state at a Denver area nightclub.

In addition, the league office found that, on May 13, Morant intentionally and prominently displayed a gun while in a car with several other individuals as they were leaving a social gathering in Memphis.  Morant wielded the firearm while knowing that he was being recorded and that the recording was being live streamed on Instagram Live, despite having made commitments to the NBA and public statements that he would not repeat the conduct for which he was previously disciplined.

Here’s what commissioner Silver had to say on Morant’s suspension:

“Ja Morant’s decision to once again wield a firearm on social media is alarming and disconcerting given his similar conduct in March for which he was already suspended eight games,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in a press release.  “The potential for other young people to emulate Ja’s conduct is particularly concerning.  Under these circumstances, we believe a suspension of 25 games is appropriate and makes clear that engaging in reckless and irresponsible behavior with guns will not be tolerated.

“For Ja, basketball needs to take a back seat at this time.  Prior to his return to play, he will be required to formulate and fulfill a program with the league that directly addresses the circumstances that led him to repeat this destructive behavior.”

Here’s Morant’s statement on the suspension:

“I’ve had time to reflect and I realize how much hurt I’ve caused,” Morant said in the statement. “I want to apologize to the NBA, the Grizzlies, my teammates and the city of Memphis. To Adam Silver, Zach Kleiman and Robert Pera – who gave me the opportunity to be a professional athlete and have supported me, I’m sorry for the harm I’ve done. To the kids who look up to me, I’m sorry for failing you as a role model. I promise I’m going to be better. To all my sponsors, I’m going to be a better representation of our brands. And to all my fans, I’m going to make it up to you, I promise.”

Grizzlies also issued a statement on Morant:

Morant can appeal the suspension, which is a possibility, according to NBPA Executive Director Tamika Tremaglio:

“Ja has expressed his remorse and accepted responsibility for his actions, and we support him unequivocally as he does whatever is necessary to represent himself, our players and our league in the best possible light. As to the discipline imposed, which keeps him off the court until December and requires some unstated conditions to be met before he can return, we believe it is excessive and inappropriate for a number of reasons including the facts involved in this particular incident, and that it is not fair and consistent with past discipline in our league. We will explore with Ja all options and next steps.”

Hopefully, Morant will take advantage of this time and become a better man. He’s a talented player with a lot of ability, but sometimes youth gets in the way, and at age 23, youth is getting in the way. Let’s hope this is the last time we hear about these things regarding Morant.

Robert Sarver plans to sell Suns/Mercury

Phoenix Suns/Mercury owner Robert Sarver will sell the teams, he announced in a statement on Wednesday.

The 60-year-old has decided it’s in the best interest to sell the Suns and Mercury(WNBA) after the league suspended him for one year and fined him $10 million following the findings of an independent investigation of Sarver, which concluded he used the N-word on five occasions during his tenure with the Suns/Mercury organization, engaged in instances of inequitable conduct toward female employees, made many sex-related comments in the workplace, made inappropriate comments about the physical appearance of female employees and other women, and on several occasions engaged in inappropriate physical conduct toward male employees. 

In addition, the report stated that Sarver engaged in demeaning and harsh treatment of employees, including yelling and cursing at them.

In his statement, Sarver felt today’s society would not allow him to make amends for his past actions.

“As a man of faith, I believe in atonement and the path to forgiveness,” Sarver said in his statement. “I expected that the commissioner’s one-year suspension would provide the time for me to focus, make amends and remove my personal controversy from the teams that I and so many fans love.

“But in our current unforgiving climate, it has become painfully clear that that is no longer possible — that whatever good I have done, or could still do, is outweighed by things I have said in the past. For those reasons, I am beginning the process of seeking buyers for the Suns and Mercury.”

NBA commissioner Adam Silver believes it is best for Sarver to sell the team and said the following in a statement discussing Sarver’s decision.

“I fully support the decision by Robert Sarver to sell the Phoenix Suns and Mercury,” Silver said. “This is the right next step for the organization and community.”

The entity that owns the Suns, Suns Legacy Partners, LLC, also agrees with Sarver’s choice to sell the team.

“We agree that Robert Sarver’s decision to sell the Suns and Mercury is in the best interest of the organization and community,” the statement read.

“We also know that today’s news does not change the work that remains in front of us to create, maintain and protect a best-in-class experience for our staff, players, fans, partners, and community.

“As we’ve shared with our employees, we acknowledge the courage of the people who came forward in this process to tell their stories and apologize to those hurt.

“We are on a journey that began before last November, one that has included changes to leadership, staff, and accountability measures. While we are proud of our progress and the culture of respect and integrity we are building, we know there remains work to do and relationships to rebuild. We are committed to doing so for our staff, players, fans, partners, and this community.”

Changes coming to the NBA All-Star game?

This year’s NBA All-Star game was not very good. Actually, it was hot garbage! Too many dunks and not enough defense. End of the day, it is an exhibition game. How much good basketball do you expect to see in an exhibition game? The NBA still has the best all star game out there(not saying much), but if the players  took it just a tad more seriously it would make for a better game.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told a group at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference a few changes he had in mind:

“You hear people talking about 4-point shots, something that’s not about to happen in the NBA but maybe in an All-Star Game; maybe there is few spots on the floor where it is a 4-point shot, maybe there’s a half-court shot in the last minute that is 10 points. I don’t know. Maybe those are crazy ideas.”

I don’t like any of those ideas,  but what do I know!