It’s amazing how opinions on the play-in tournament change once a team realizes it might be them in the seventh or eighth seed.

Both Mark Cuban (earlier this season) and LeBron James (two days ago) expressed disgust with the NBA’s play-in tournament at almost the exact point in the season when their teams seemed headed for seventh place. The subtext couldn’t be more clear: The play-in is great for the riffraff but not for us. It’s basketball NIMBYism.

Self-serving commentary aside, what’s clear already from the lead-up to the play-in format is that 1) it’s working spectacularly well, and 2) there are virtually no negative unintended consequences.





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