T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas is to stage the inaugural finals stage of the new NBA Cup in-season tournament.
The new knockout competition is to debut in the 2023-24 season and will feature all 30 NBA teams. It features a group stage, which begins at the start of November, with eight teams progressing from six groups to single-elimination games in the quarter-finals. The semi-finals and championship match will be played in Las Vegas in early December.
The 67 NBA Cup games will count toward the regular-season standings except the championship match. Each team will continue to play 82 regular-season games in the 2023-24 season, including those games that are part of group and knockout rounds.
The 2023-24 NBA season is scheduled to run from October 2023 to June 2024.
“We are excited to introduce the NBA in-season tournament as an opportunity to further enhance and innovate around our season structure,” said Joe Dumars, NBA executive vice-president, head of basketball operations. “With the addition of this new marquee event on the NBA calendar, we are focused on providing players and teams with another competition to win, engaging fans in a different way and driving further interest in the early portion of the regular-season schedule.”
All 30 teams have been randomly drawn into groups of five within their conference based on win-loss records from the 2022-23 regular season. Each team will play four designated group games – one game against each opponent in its group, with two games at home and two on the road – on Tournament Nights, which will take place every Tuesday and Friday from November 3-28 (with the exception of Election Day on November 7, when no games will be played).
Eight teams will advance to the knockout rounds, with these being the six group winners and the two runners-up with the best record.
The knockout rounds will consist of single-elimination games in the quarter-finals, which will be played in NBA team markets on December 4-5, and semi-finals and championship in Las Vegas on December 7 and 9 respectively. The knockout teams will compete for a prize pool of $500,000 for each player on the winning team and the new NBA Cup itself.
The 18,000-capacity T-Mobile Arena, which opened in 2016, is home to the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights but does not have an NBA tenant team.