In Season Tournament

NBA In Season Tournament: Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of frequently asked questions about the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament. For more information read the In-Season Tournament 101 summary.

What is the NBA In-Season Tournament?
The NBA In-Season Tournament is a new annual competition for all 30 teams that will debut in the 2023-24 season.

Why is the NBA adding the In-Season Tournament?
The In-Season Tournament will provide players and teams with another competition to win, engage fans in a new way and drive additional interest in the early portion of the regular-season schedule.

When is the In-Season Tournament?
The inaugural In-Season Tournament will tip off on Friday, Nov. 3 and culminate with the Championship on Saturday, Dec. 9.

Where will the In-Season Tournament be played?
All tournament games will be played in NBA team markets except the Semifinals and Championship, both of which will be held at a neutral site (T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas).

Which teams will participate in the In-Season Tournament?
All 30 teams will participate in the first stage of the tournament, Group Play. Eight teams will advance to the second and final stage, the single-elimination Knockout Rounds.

What does the champion of the In-Season Tournament receive?
The champion will receive a new trophy, the NBA Cup. In addition, a prize pool will be allocated to players on teams that qualify for the Knockout Rounds, with allocations increasing depending on how far a team progresses in the tournament.

Will top performers from the In-Season Tournament be honored?
After the Championship is played, the NBA will name the Most Valuable Player of the In-Season Tournament and the All-Tournament Team. Selection will be based on the players' performance in both Group Play and the Knockout Rounds.

What is Group Play?
All 30 teams have been randomly drawn into groups of five within their conference based on won-loss records from the 2022-23 regular season. The Lakers have been selected into Western Group A. Western Group A consists of the Lakers, Grizzlies, Suns, Jazz, and Trail Blazers. Each team will play four designated Group Play games – one game against each opponent in its group, with two games at home and two on the road.

Group Play games will be played on "Tournament Nights," which will take place every Tuesday and Friday from Nov. 3-28 (with the exception of Election Day on Nov. 7). The only NBA games played on Tournament Nights will be Group Play games.

What is the schedule for Group Play?

Here is the Lakers schedule in the opening round of the In-Season Tournament

  • Nov. 10, 7pm PT - Lakers at Suns
  • Nov. 14, 7:30pm PT - Lakers vs Grizzlies
  • Nov. 17, 7pm PT - Lakers at Trail Blazers
  • Nov. 21, 7pm PT - Lakers vs Jazz

How were the groups determined?
Before the Group Play draw, each team was placed into a "pot" based on its record from the prior regular season (2022-23). In each conference, one team from each pot was randomly selected into each of the three groups in that conference. Pot 1 had the teams with the three best prior-season records in a conference, Pot 2 had the teams with the fourth- through sixth-best prior-season records in a conference, and so on through Pot 5.

Which teams advance to the Knockout Rounds?
Eight teams will advance to the Knockout Rounds: the team with the best standing in Group Play games in each of the six groups and one "wild card" team from each conference. The wild card will be the team from each conference with the best record in Group Play games that finished second in its group.

What are the Knockout Rounds?
The Knockout Rounds will consist of single-elimination games in the Quarterfinals (Dec. 4-5), Semifinals (Dec. 7) and Championship (Dec. 9).

Why are there two games labeled as "TBD" on each team's 2023-24 regular-season schedule?
Every team will play two regular-season games (including the In-Season Tournament Quarterfinals and Semifinals for qualifying teams) during the week of Dec. 4th. Each of the 22 teams that do not advance to the Quarterfinals of the In-Season Tournament will be assigned two regular-season games (one home game and one away game) that will be played on Wednesday, Dec. 6 and Friday, Dec. 8.  A formulaic approach will determine the matchups for these 22 games using the Group Play standings in each conference (fifth through 15th).

Two of the 22 games will be scheduled cross-conference because there will be an odd number of teams in each conference that do not advance to the Quarterfinals.  These cross-conference games will be scheduled between bottom-finishing teams in Group Play subject to travel constraints, and no team will play more than one of its two games cross-conference.  The other 20 games will be scheduled within conference featuring teams that are otherwise scheduled to play each other three times over the course of the season wherever possible.

The losing teams in the Quarterfinals in each conference will play each other in a regular-season game on Dec. 8.   

How can I watch the In-Season Tournament?
Fourteen Group Play games (two games on each Tournament Night) and all seven Knockout Round games will be televised nationally. The game and broadcast schedule for the In-Season Tournament Group Play stage will be announced in August.

Where can I purchase tickets for the In-Season Tournament?
Tickets for the Semifinals and Championship at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas can be purchased at Tickets for Group Play or Quarterfinals games, which will both be played in NBA team markets, can be purchased directly through the host team’s ticketing provider and will be announced at a later date.

How do In Season Tournament games affect season ticket packages?
Tournament Games at Arena and a potential Knockout Game at Arena are all included in the full season ticket package. The TBD game related to the results in the In-Season Tournament will not be available to transfer/resell at this time.