The NBA In-Season Tournament, a National Basketball Association (NBA) regular season tournament, comes into action for the first time ever as 30 teams contest for the NBA Cup between November 3rd and December 9th, 2023.

The tournament was announced officially on the 8th of July, 2023 and arrangements have been in place towards its debut.

Over the years, NBA officials had discussed the possibility of holding an in-season tournament. For a long time, the NBA had been burdened with trying to compete with the prestigious National Football League (NFL), over viewers’ attention when both leagues’ regular seasons coincide every November and December.


Understanding the format of this tournament would be an easy task for one who is familiar with a European football competition such as the UEFA Champions League as they are similar but not the same. Not to go too far, the tournament would take a similar format to the annual Commissioner’s Cup organised by the Women’s National Basketball Association.

Firstly, the thirty teams contesting are divided into two conferences: Eastern and Western conferences. Each conference is further divided into three groups with each group having five teams. The top three teams based on the previous season’s records are randomly assigned to three groups, and then the next three are randomly assigned to the three groups, this continues till each group is complete.

Secondly, there will be round-robin tournaments in each group as Tuesdays and Fridays will feature each team playing one game against each of the other teams in its group. This sums up to a total of four games, two at home and two away.

Lastly, from each conference, four teams advance to the knockout stages; three of the four teams must have emerged as leaders of their respective groups while the fourth team advances as the runner-up with the best record. Eight teams take on each other in the knockout stages, moving progressively to the quarterfinals, the semifinals and then the final which will be played at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.


The winning team gets to lift the NBA Cup but there is more to be won. Cash prizes of $500,000 will be given to players of the winning team.

Runners up will receive $200,000 each, players on the two losing teams in the semifinals each receive $100,000 and players on the four losing teams in the quarterfinals get $50,000 each.


All games in the tournament excluding the final would count as regular-season games.

Adjustments have also been made as 80 games for each team have been announced, the 81st and 82nd games will occur differently.

The 22 teams that failed to qualify for the knockout stages will play two additional games (one at home, the other away) against each other while the four teams that lost in the quarterfinals will play just one additional game against each other. All these post-scheduled games will be played just around the time that the knockout stages are concluding.

Two conferences, six groups, thirty teams, and one winner; all to play for in the NBA In-Season Tournament!

Jacobs Joseph

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *