The NBA officially announced its long-anticipated in-season tournament in Las Vegas.
Drawing inspiration from European soccer, NBA Today host Malika Andrews and Richard Jefferson, along with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, revealed the format and the trophy that will be awarded to the winner of the NBA Cup.
For a full explanation of the NBA Cup format, check out the video below:
NBA IN-SEASON TOURNAMENT EXPLAINED— NBA (@NBA) July 8, 2023
Starting Nov. 3, all 30 teams will compete for the NBA Cup with 8 teams advancing into the knockout rounds! The tournament semis and championship game will be held in Las Vegas, Dec. 7 and 9! pic.twitter.com/NZdURUa3XR
It’s a lot to take in, and fans will undoubtedly have questions as tournament play unfolds. So let’s start with the most essential element: how do the Hawks fit into the madness?
Atlanta will compete in the group stage against the Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Indiana Pacers, and Detroit Pistons. The Hawks will play against the Sixers and Pacers at home and the Cavaliers and Pistons on the road (the official dates will be announced in August). All group play games will take place in November.
Should the Hawks finish with the best record in the group - or qualify for a wild card spot with the next best record after the group - they’ll advance to the knockout stage, an eight-team, single-elimination tournament.
The quarterfinals are played at home arenas on Dec. 4 and 5, then the semifinals and finals are played in Las Vegas. The semis are played on Dec. 7, and the championship on Dec. 9.
One more critical element must be considered: all games related to the tournament will count towards regular season standings and stats except for the championship game. You can find more specific details about the NBA Cup here.
The NBA had several players participate in the NBA Cup announcement, including Atlanta Hawks All-Star guard Trae Young. He was the one to announce his team’s group and wasn’t afraid to share his confidence.
Young was also asked about his thoughts on the in-season tournament and how it can help get the team ready for another playoff run.
“It’s an exciting time to me,” Young said. “To play more basketball, playing for another award, something special. It’s just going to push us and keep teams prepared all season long. It helps leading up to the big goal at the end too.”