Adam Silver Expects Play-In to Become a Permanent Fixture

    • Adam Silver announced that the play-in tournament will become a staple for years to come.
    • Last year’s Lakers-Warriors play-in game garnered the largest audience for an ESPN NBA telecast since the 2019 Western Conference finals.

Talking with reporters at a news conference in Manhattan on Wednesday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced that the play-in tournament will be a staple for years to come.

“We’ll see how it goes this year, but I think it’s going to become a fixture in this league,” Silver said.

The play-in tournament was implemented last year as the league tried to recuperate from the pandemic, which cost the NBA roughly $695 million in revenue. 

Last year’s Lakers-Warriors play-in game drew 5.6 million viewers — the most for an ESPN NBA telecast since the 2019 Western Conference Finals.

The NBA’s media rights in 2025 are projected to be valued at $75 billion total — over $8 billion annually.

In addition to the play-in fixture, Silver said he doesn’t expect the NBA to move next year’s All-Star Weekend from Salt Lake City, despite Utah’s anti-transgender law. The league moved the 2017 edition from Charlotte to New Orleans for similar reasons.