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Volume 21 No. 42
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Stoke fans’ fire with international event, play-in for playoff

Come 2028, events like an International Cup that pits NBA teams against top international clubs or a playoff play-in tournament that adds more interest and excitement to the end of the season could be part of the league’s calendar.

“Look at how successful the summer league has become,” said one NBA team executive. “There has been unlimited appetite for product, and there are ways to expand without diluting the core game.”

Adding a midseason tournament is another possible new event that could break up the monotony of the current 82-game format.

Amy Brooks, president of team marketing and business operations and chief innovation officer, leads the league’s business and basketball committee that looks to create new opportunities in the game. “They’re in the realm of possibility,” she said of those ideas. “Many [of those events] are ways we can enhance the game and make it much more interesting and create new business opportunities. Many of those things are complicated, but we think it’s worth studying the advantages and disadvantages.”

A playoff play-in tournament seems particularly relevant as the league tries to eliminate teams tanking and add more fan interest in teams that don’t qualify in the current playoff format.

“It’s feasible that there would be a play-in for the playoff with [seeds] 7 to 10 to play for the final two spots,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of BSE Global.