NBA: LeBron James increases his legend and honors the ‘Cup’, an experiment with many unknowns: “There will be changes” | NBA 2023


The forward leads the Lakers to win the first In-Season Tournament title and expands his record with almost 39 years. Adam Silver acknowledges that he is still “learning”

LeBron, with the In-Season Tournament trophy, in Las Vegas.
LeBron, with the In-Season Tournament trophy, in Las Vegas.Ian MauleAP

Lebron James It was the best soda for the NBA experiment, the first Cup in its history, a complete success thanks to the King, now forever in the germ of this new competition still in the adjustment phase. About to turn 39, honoring his legendary career, he led the Lakers to win the first In-Season Tournament in Las Vegas, one more notch in the most successful franchise in basketball.

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In the early hours of Saturday to Sunday, in the colorful park of the T-Mobile Arena, LeBron culminated the wonderful path of the Angelenos in this new tournament, strange for American players and fans, a European Cup in the middle of the season. , but so different. The Lakers defeated the Pacers (123-109), with an exhibition of Anthony Davis (41 points, 20 rebounds, five assists, four blocks…), MVP of the final, accompanying the titanic effort of James (24 points, 11 rebounds…), MVP of the tournament and 28 points from the bench Austin Reaves. They dried up the powerful attack of the Indiana team, the NBA’s top scorer, and their star Tyrese Haliburton. And without needing the perimeter (just two triples, the first already late in the third quarter) they put the finishing touch to an immaculate In-Season Tournamente for them: seven wins and no losses.

LeBron wanted to provide the event with historical context. He praised his teammate Davis, whom he compared to the Shaquille O’Neal of the three-peat and assured that the effort went to the young people on the team – we must not forget that in the desire to give importance to the tournament the NBA rewards half million dollars to each champion player and 200,000 to the finalists… -, in addition to the Lakers fans.

The NBA’s successful trial leaves many questions, however. And Adam Silver himself appeared in Las Vegas to admit that they continue “learning” and conclude that in the next editions “there will be changes.” “Overall, we’re delighted with the interest we’ve seen so far this season, but I know it’s not without its challenges. People are probably tired of hearing the word ‘tweak’. So we’ll find another synonym for that,” he explained. league commissioner. These adjustments have to do above all with sports, with the “point difference” as scales for tiebreakers and with the calendar, since those In-Season Tournament games are part of and count for the regular season.

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