LeBron James Slams Idea Of NBA One-And-Done Play-In Tourney For Playoffs: It’s ‘Wack’ And ‘Corny’
LeBron James has stated he is opposed to changing the NBA’s playoff structure, amid rumors the league could alter this.
LeBron James Comments One-and-Done Play-In Tourney
The Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star said he does not wish to see the NBA adopt a play-in tourney with one-and-done consequences.
“No, no, no,” James said Wednesday. “That’s wack. That’s wack. Why? You got to earn your spot to be in the postseason. No consolation for finishing last. That’s corny. That’s corny. That’s wack. To play for what? What are they playing for?”
The one-and-done rule is a provision of the NBA’s 2005 Collective Bargaining Agreement that required all potential league draftees to be at least 19 years old and at least one year out of high school.
Then-NBA commissioner David Stern championed the provision, which was intended to protect unprepared high school players from the difficult professional transition — while also supposedly giving NBA teams a better opportunity to evaluate potential recruits on the college stage.
James said the eight teams in each conference that hold the best record at the end of the 82-game regular season should be guaranteed a playoff spot, without needing any further qualification. The King said the playoff field should not be expanded that way.
“[Make the playoffs by winning the tournament], even if my record is better than yours? Nah, that’s wack,” James said.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported last month that there is “some behind-the-scenes momentum for the idea of a play-in tournament determining the last two seeds in each conference — to the point that two specific proposals are circulating at the highest levels within teams and the league office.”
Lowe explained the playoff proposal that is reportedly being debated the most: two four-team tournaments featuring the seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th seeds in each conference. The seventh seed would host the eighth seed, with the winner of that single game clinching the seventh spot. Meanwhile, the ninth seed would host the 10th seed, with the winner of that contest facing the loser of the 7-versus-8 matchup for the final playoff spot.
CLEVELAND, OH – NOVEMBER 28: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers argues after being ejected in the second half by referee Kane Fitzgerald #5 while playing the Miami Heat at Quicken Loans Arena on November 28, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland won the game 108-97. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)