The NBA’s In-Season Tournament idea was met with mostly skepticism from the online basketball fan community, if not outright disregard, with many finding the idea pointless.
However, for the most part, NBA players and coaches seem firmly for the idea, at least based on the public comments that have been made so far.
Of course, when it comes to your job, it’s much easier to say you like your boss’ new idea than to rip it publicly, so perhaps there are more players or coaches who don’t like the In-Season Tournament who are smartly keeping their comments to themselves.
Below, check out what NBA players and coaches have said about the NBA In-Season Tournament, including those for it, against it and those still on the fence.
Those in favor of the In-Season Tournament
Draymond Green: “We talk about this in-season tournament and it’s a playoff game. It was a fun game to play in. The intensity level was there. It’s a job well done to the NBA, adding this type of excitement in November, because there be some dark days in November, but you get games like this, you can appreciate them. It was great.”
Steve Kerr: “I don’t think I need to motivate our players, really. If you put a prize in front of NBA players, they’re going to compete. This is what they do. Our players are excited, and I don’t need to give them any special motivation. I do think that because it’s a separate competition, something that we’re going to be taking part in over the next couple of months, I do think that it can sharpen up our game. ”
Erik Spoelstra: “The last time there was a move like this, it was a play-in. I remember everybody saying, ‘Oh, it’s a horrible idea, this and that.’ But I think it’s been really good for the league. … So this, I think, just give it a little bit of time and I think, ultimately, it’ll be good for the league.”
Nick Nurse: “Well, personally, I love it. I’ve been through it a lot of years over there. It’s just a part of every season over there and it’s interesting. Obviously, it comes from soccer … so people are really in tune with it. Even the players are in tune with it, what’s going on and why you’re doing it. So I love it from that standpoint. I think the other standpoint is you’re getting down to one-game knockouts at this level. I think it will be amazing to watch once it gets to that point.”
Kristaps Porzingis: Porzingis said he loves the in-season tournament, as it brings an early spotlight and reminds him of the preseason/in-season tourneys in Europe.
Mark Daigneault: “I think it’s a great idea. I think for a team like us, the value of it is any game you can add more noise and distractions that we kinda have to cut through, the better… It strengthens your focus.”
Trae Young: “For me, I like the idea of the In-Season tournament… It’s going to be a lot of eyes watching it, it’s going to be a big-time thing, obviously my main goal is when the bigger championship at the end of the year but still something you want to fight for, you want to win I mean we’re all competitors so it’s cool because I mean you see the NBA’s just trying to add a new excitement and different things so I don’t mind it to be honest with you I kind of like it kind of gets you prepared for later in the year too.”
Mike Brown: “We’re not looking ahead to it. We’re excited about it and I’m excited to see it unfold, but we’re worried about the Warriors tonight. … We’re just trying to get better, and when we play, hopefully we’ll play at our best because it would be awesome to win a cup.”
Jonas Valanciunas: “Back home, there are different cups during the season. There’s not just one trophy. It’s nice to see this here, too. More games and more trophies to win. It’s better for the players.”
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: “It’ll be fun to add a little bit of excitement. A different feel to the games.”
Domantas Sabonis: “I’m very excited. We’ve actually been talking about it for the last three or four years during the season and it finally happened. It’s another chance to win something. In international basketball, these cups in the middle of the season are big. They mean something. And then history happens and it’s important.”
“There’s absolutely no down-side.”
— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) July 11, 2023
TJ McConnell: “It’s gonna be really good for our league. Seasons can — not necessarily drag on — but adding an in-season tournament there just to like reinvigorate fan interest and give something that the players are playing for, another competitive type of environment, I think it’s going to be really good.”
Gregg Popovich: “You have to understand all these guys are very competitive. If you put something out there like this, it just adds to that competition.”
Those on the fence about the In-Season Tournament
Jaylen Brown: “I wouldn’t choose the word excited, but (I’m) ready…if there’s basketball to be played, our group will be ready.”
Bones Hyland doesn’t know what’s going on with the in-season tournament 😂 pic.twitter.com/A44rNOo5sA
— Joey Linn (@joeylinn_) November 3, 2023
Ben Simmons when asked if he knows how the in-season tournament works:
"Nah, all I know is whoever we play we gotta play and each game is very important. So that's how I feel about every game we play." pic.twitter.com/nqJ7xU9M8v
— Erik Slater (@erikslater_) November 3, 2023
Jalen Williams: “It’s so early in the year, it just feels like another game… I guess we’ll see once we get into the arena what it’ll feel like.”
Gary Payton II: “The only thing that’s different is the court right now…The Blue, is kinda messing with my eyes” but said he will adjust to it. Said it “reminds me of Boise State, you know? The football field.”
Larry Nance Jr: “It’s got the ability to be very cool. It’s got the ability to; it just has to be definitely done the right way and marketed to the players in the right away. With guys really trying to limit their regular-season usage, some of the better players in the league trying to limit their regular-season usage, marketing it as an opportunity for some of the younger teams and building teams to use it as almost a playoff experience is really, really cool and a really, really new way of looking at things.”
Those against the In-Season Tournament
Marcus Smart: “Being completely honest, nobody cares about [winning in-season tournament], it’s the big one that we care about. I have mixed feelings on it, but it’s great to be able to play more basketball, and I think that’s more of it, just those more games for the fans.”