Limpag: NBA picked the wrong European concept


About two or three years ago, after NBA commissioner Adam Silver visited Europe and saw how the football clubs participate in two or three other tournaments while competing for their regular season crown, decided that he’d want the NBA to adopt.

Fast-forward to now, we have the Los Angeles Lakers winning the In-Season Tournament. What animal is that, I have no idea.

People, especially those who hate LeBron, were quick to slam the idea.

But for me, I think it’s good that the NBA commissioner is exploring things to make the NBA more interesting. Gone are the days when Filipino fans only have the NBA as their best option on cable TV.

However, I think Commissioner Silver travelled to Europe at the wrong time and brought to the NBA the wrong concept. He went to Europe during the middle of the football season, if I remember it right. Had he made his trip in the latter part of the football season, he would have appreciated the relegation/promotion concept in professional leagues.

Late in the NBA season, non-playoff-bound teams take a vacation. I mean, what’s the point of winning meaningless games?

That’s not the case in football, where teams fighting off relegation or battling for promotion play the final games of their season like their lives depend on it. Because in a way, they do.

At 32 teams, the NBA can be a two-tier league and instead of playing 82 games, each team will only play 30 times—at home and away against each club in their division.

The bottom two in the first division get relegated, and the top two in the second division get promoted. Now, I tell you, there won’t be any garbage games.

Sadly, such a concept is alien to US sports and consequently, it is alien to US-centric Philippine sports, that’s why we have numerous basketball and volleyball leagues.

Imagine if Philippine professional basketball or volleyball have one structure where teams go up and down, based on performance? That would be a game changer.

Of course, that concept isn’t alien to Philippine football fans. We’ve been talking about that ever since the Azkals made everyone learn we had a local league.

But back to the NBA.

I hope after what he thought was a successful In-Season Tournament, Adam Silver returns to Europe, but this time, late in the season.

Perhaps he’ll make the move that hopefully would also prod our basketball officials to act and adopt such a move — relegation and promotion.

I could care less about the NBA but I care about Philippine basketball. And since Philippine basketball always mirrors what the NBA is doing, I’m hoping for Silver and the NBA to make the first move.


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