Miami Heat’s LeBron James is going to have a different experience if he manages to make it to the NBA Finals for a fourth consecutive time next summer as reports claim the league is considering switching up its format.
According to reports, the NBA is on the verge of making significant changes to home court advantage in the championship series.
For the first time in over 3 decades, the NBA could be returning back to the historical 2-2-1-1-1 format. Earlier today, the NBA’s Competition Committee voted unanimously in favor of a major change to the modern day NBA Finals schedule of the 2-3-2 format. The new system could be implemented as early as next year’s NBA Finals for 2014, pending an owners vote to finalize the decision in the coming days. Since 1985, the NBA adopted the 2-3-2 format due to cross-country travels every year between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics; causing strain on players, media and fans going to every game. Now that the NBA uses charter planes from Private Jet Services in comparison to flying commercial, the once impossible and strenuous schedule now seems possible. This new format will now even out the playing field, giving the lower seeded opponents in the Finals a better shot of pulling an upset against a favorite. (Free OnSmash)
The power move could ultimately serve as a major payoff for the league and its ratings.
Last year, the Miami Heat overcame a 3-2 Finals deficit to win their second consecutive title, becoming the fourth team in 29 years to accomplish the come-from-behind win. With a lower seed now having the possibility of playing game 6 on its home floor, the league and TV partners will use this newest tactic to build buzz for their title games; for more added pressure on the “home team” to handle business. (Free OnSmash)
This news comes days after buzz about the league possibly using nickname jerseys for at least one NBA game surfaced.
So long, James, Allen, Pierce and Garnett. At least for one game, “King James,” “Jesus Shuttlesworth,” “The Truth” and “KG” may be headed to the backs of NBA jerseys. Some members of the Miami Heat have been told the NBA is considering having them and the Brooklyn Nets wear “nickname jerseys” in at least one of their four matchups this season. The NBA has not announced the plan, but teams apparently have been aware of the likelihood of it happening for at least several weeks. (USA Today)
James’ Miami Heat teammate Ray Allen already offered an opinion on the debate.
“It shows growth in our league and it shows we do adapt to what’s going on around us,” said Allen, the Heat guard who plans to wear Shuttlesworth on his jersey, a nod to his character from the He Got Game film. “And we’re still kids, playing a kids’ game. Even though we’re now men playing a kids’ game, we still remember where we come from. Everybody had a nickname and it’s a way to let the fans in a little bit more.” (USA Today)