Lately, the NBA has been trying out new formats and giving basketball fans something new now and then. Over the last couple of seasons, the league has implemented the NBA Play-In tournament at the end of the year, causing the bottom two seeds to really earn their spot in the postseason.
This year, the NBA will introduce Rivals Week. On Wednesday, the league-wide schedule was released, and each team got its hands on its 82-game schedule. As a part of the release, the league introduced Rivals Week for the first time.
According to a press release, rivals week is a week full of matchups that feature "classic and budding rivalries" between specific teams and star players. The matchups will take place during the week of January 23, 2023.
The new event will feature 11 nationally televised games across four networks over five days. Although not every franchise is involved, the Philadelphia 76ers will be a part of the action, and one of their rivalries is not necessarily a familiar one.
Who Will the Sixers Face?
For the first matchup of Philadelphia's Rivalry Week, they'll host a familiar foe in the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, January 25 at 7:30 PM ET. Obviously, Ben Simmons playing in Philadelphia will always cause a stir, considering how everything went down last season.
The league will lean into a new budding rivalry in the Sixers' second matchup. Over the last couple of seasons, Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic have been the league's most dominant bigs as they've battled it out for MVP in back-to-back years.
Therefore, the Sixers and the Denver Nuggets will go toe-to-toe for Rivalry Week on Saturday, January 28, at 3:00 PM ET. The matchup against Denver will conclude Philadelphia's first Rivalry Week slate in 2023.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for All76ers, a Sports Illustrated channel. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.