The WNBA may once again be charting the path forward for their NBA brethren.
The women's league announced this upcoming season will have a mid-season tournament for a brand new "Commissioner's Cup." According to a press release, 10 early games from each team's regular-season slate will be played as part of the new tournament. The teams in each conference with the best record in those Cup games will face off in a championship game for the league's new prize.
More importantly for the league offices, Amazon Prime has signed a multi-year deal to stream WNBA games including nine Commissioner Cup games and the Commissioner Cup Championship Game. It's a major step forward both for online streaming, the WNBA, and potentially the NBA who may soon adopt a tournament very similar to the WNBA's new Commissioner's Cup.
"This is what Adam Silver wants for the NBA," ESPN's Brian Windhorst said on The Hoop Collective Podcast. "He wants it for the same reason he wanted a play-in tournament, is it adds intrigue, gives something else for teams to win, and most importantly it gives the league something else to sell.
"I don't know if and when he can pull this off, but this is what he would like to have. He would like to reduce the number of regular-season games and in addition to the play-in tournament put this in and call it the Stern Cup."
While the Toronto Raptors may not have been particularly interested in the play-in tournament this season, the league has reportedly been thrilled with how the play-in tournament has shaken out this season, and adding more intrigue to regular-season games seems to be on the horizon if Silver can get his way.