NBA Commissioner Adam Silver held his annual All-Star Weekend press conference Saturday night, answering questions from the media on social injustice, playoff seeding, the NBA’s one-and-done rule and more.
The conference lasted just over 30 minutes, and one popular topic that has fans interested is the proposed Playoff seeding change. Currently, the top eight teams from the Eastern Conference and Western Conference make the postseason to round out a 16-team tournament. The proposed playoff change would see the top-16 teams across the league make the postseason, depending on which teams have the best record. Individual conferences would be eliminated here.
“That is something that’s gotten serious attention, not just recently, but over the last few years at the league office,” Silver said. “I think, as I’ve said in the past, the obstacle is travel, and it’s not tradition in my mind, at least. It’s that as we’ve added an extra week to the regular season, as we’ve tried to reduce the number of back-to-backs, that we are concerned about teams crisscrossing the country in the first round, for example. We are just concerned about the overall travel that we would have in the top 16 teams.
Despite the issue of travel and teams potentially venturing cross-country, Silver says the league will continue to consider making a change down the road. But for now, the league’s current Playoff seeding format will stay.
“Having said that, you also would like to have a format where your two best teams are ultimately going to meet in The Finals,” Silver said. “And obviously, if it’s the top team in the East and top team in the West, I’m not saying this is the case this year, but you could have a situation where the top two teams in the league are meeting in the Conference Finals or somewhere else.
“So we’re going to continue to look at that. It’s still my hope that we’re going to figure out ways. Maybe ultimately you have to add even more days to the season to spread it out a little bit more to deal with the travel. Maybe air travel will get better. (Those are) all things we’ll keep looking at.”