NBA Commissioner Adam Silver expects the entry tournament for the postseason spots to continue next season.
Delivering his annual state of the association address before the start of the NBA Finals on Tuesday in Phoenix, Silver weighed in on issues including player injuries amid a condensed 2020-21 schedule, the potential for the Toronto Raptors to play in Canada again and the shortage of black and female head coaches.
Play-in events were added this season, and the ninth and tenth-place teams in both conferences earned a chance to reach the postseason. He does not. 9 Memphis Grizzlies took the opportunity to reach the Western Conference playoffs.
Silver said of the entry format: “I hope we continue it next season.”
He added that the arrangement remains subject to approval by the team owners and the National Basketball Players Association.
The league drew a lot of criticism for a playoff season that has seen a huge roster of star players lose time due to injuries after a compact 72-game schedule.
Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks, Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers, Kawhi Leonard of the Los Angeles Clippers, Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets and James Harden of the Utah Jazz. Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley were injured in the postseason.
“I have no doubt that the added stress and physical and mental cost (this season) has contributed to the injuries,” Silver said. “Precisely why we have the injuries that we have is still unclear to us. It is something we will continue to study in the offseason. “
The status of the Raptors, who played home games in Tampa this season due to the coronavirus pandemic, remains uncertain, according to Silver.
“I know that on behalf of Larry Tanenbaum, who is the governor of the team and happens to be the chairman of the NBA board of directors, he has high hopes that Ontario will open up and they can get the team back in Toronto,” Silver said.
Silver said it’s “frustrating” that the NBA still doesn’t have a head coach, although San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon recently interviewed for openings with the Orlando Magic and Portland Trail Blazers.
Regarding the diversity among the league’s head coaches, Silver said: “This is an issue that requires daily attention. … We are not going to rest on our laurels. “
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