LeBron laughed off the idea of a play-in tournament determining the last playoff spots.
The NBA has bandied about an idea to shake up the current playoff format by awarding the final postseason two spots in each conference to the winners of a play-in tournament between the seventh-, eighth-, ninth- and tenth-placed teams, ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported last month.
It would be a radical change to the structure of the league, but it doesn’t sound like it’s being considered all too seriously at this point. Still, LeBron James was asked about the idea during his meeting with reporters on Wednesday and laughed it off.
“No, no, no,” James told the media. “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?”
The way it would work, according to Lowe, is that the seventh-place team would play the eighth-place team in a single game to determine who gets the No. 7 seed in the playoffs. The loser of that game would face the winner of the No. 9 vs. No. 10 game for the final spot in the playoffs.
Do-or-die games are all the rage in sports right now. MLB added a one-game play-in between each league’s Wild Card teams, a decision that angered baseball purists but has produced exciting moments. The NCAA tournament also recently expanded from one play-in game to four.