Future Hoops: Outdoor Knockouts, Anyone?

The NBA has moved away from its roots, mostly to compensate for losses amid a global pandemic. From the Orlando bubble in 2020 to the play-in games in 2021, innovation certainly hasn’t been lacking in the offices.

The latest intriguing developments: a potential in-season tournament and talks for an outdoor game.

In-Season Tournament: The competition committee is discussing the possibility of an in-season tournament that might resemble March Madness — with a $1 million per-player incentive. This isn’t the first time this idea has come up, but when would it be scheduled? Would players — specifically on winning teams — even try? And would fans form any attachment to a European-style tournament? 

The Allure of Outdoor Hoops: Back in February, we explored the pros and cons of an outdoor game. Now, the NBA is reportedly mulling something similar to MLB’s recent “Field of Dreams” event. 

Picture a Nets-Knicks game at Rucker Park or Lakers-Clippers down in Venice Beach. Bringing the game back to the blacktop (no double rims) on a beautiful spring day sounds like heaven for the purists out there. 

Of course, there are obstacles. Namely weather — it’s unpredictable. As Shaq put it after an experimental 2008 preseason game in Indian Wells, California: “[It was] colder than a motherf—er.”

But we’re here for it. And if it’s on the East Coast (doubtful), consider Brooklyn Bridge Park.