NBA’s Innovative In-Season Tournament Draws Inspiration from Soccer, But Puts a Unique Spin on Tradition

As a soccer fan, it’s the only league to notice soccer’s growing popularity and try to capitalize on it. The NBA saw the way soccer allows for more than one path to a successful season. It tried to imitate it by rearranging the same teams into different formations, but that doesn’t work. The charm of any cup competition in soccer is that it includes teams from every level, something American sports don’t have. The NBA’s version does not capture the randomness and allure of new matchups. Moreover, the timing was off, being too close to the start of the regular season. It seemed like an extra spark when it wasn’t needed. Doubling up regular season games isn’t really capturing anything that a cup tournament is supposed to have to make it exciting. Maybe it’ll work better when the NBA expands to 32 teams.Overall, the NBA hasn’t captured the magic of a soccer-style cup competition. It doesn’t seem like it ever will in this current format.