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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to Explore Midseason Tournament, Late-Season Play-in

Silver said the league can potentially follow the European soccer model with another tournament aside from the NBA playoffs. 

NBA commissioner Adam Silver floated an idea for a pair of regular-season tournaments on Tuesday, according to the New York Times' Marc Stein

Silver noted the European soccer model as an inspiration for the idea that is still, "in the conceptual phase." Silver reportedly envisions both a midseason tournament during All-Star Weekend, as well as an end-of-season tournament to determine "the last two playoff spots in the East and West.

"It’s incumbent on me to constantly be looking at other organizations and seeing what it is we can do better and learn from them,” Silver told Stein. “In the case of European soccer, I think there is something we can learn from them."

Silver said the NBA is not interested in slashing its 82-game regular season, instead envisioning the tournaments as potential additions before the playoffs.

The 2021-22 season could be the first year with a midseason or end-of-season tournament. Silver noted the league's 75th anniversary as a potential landmark, adding, "I think that milestone gives us a pillar around which to think about the history of the league and experiment." 

Game 1 of the NBA Finals is slated for 9 p.m. ET on Thursday. The Warriors will look to earn their third straight championship, while the Raptors appear in their first Finals in franchise history.