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The NBA In-Season Tourney Is A Recipe For Blindness, With Ray Ratto

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 8: Sphere displays the In Season Tournament visuals on its exterior, the largest LED screen on Earth, during the 2023 Las Vegas Summer League on July 8, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2023 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

If you read Defector’s remarkably comprehensive, not to mention punctual, preview of all 30 NBA teams, you might’ve asked yourself, “Hey man, why didn’t any of these fuckers talk about the league’s new regular-season tournament, which begins this Friday?” We at The Distraction asked ourselves this question as well. Why DIDN’T the foremost NBA knowers at this company talk in depth about this tournament? Is it because they knew it was a cheap scheme to draw in more eyeballs to early games? Is it because it kinda sounds too much like that one other lame tournament idea that Bill Simmons proposed, with characteristically unearned pride, 16 years ago? Or is it because of the courts? It’s definitely the courts, isn’t it? Look at these fucking things:

Yes, for the Group Stage games (which will count as regular-season games), each team will have their own special court design that tells viewers, “This game is part of a separate marketing package!” Some of these court designs, like those of the Lakers and Celtics, are fitting. Some, like that of the Hawks, feature impossibly dumb slogans like “lift as we fly”(???) along the sideline. But many of them serve as an accelerant for macular degeneration.

If you thought that the Nets’ grayscale court gave you migraines, wait until you see the SIX other gray courts that are in the offing. Or how about three purple courts to trick you into thinking you’re watching an alternative Nickelodeon broadcast? Or what about five red courts that scream BLOOD BLOOD HORRIBLE BLOOD ALL OVER YOUR TELEVISION!? Are you as excited as we are to see the NBA equivalent of the Holiday Bowl staged on these courts? I bet you are. And THAT, dear listeners, is the subject of this week’s Distraction.

But oooooh, what if I told you there’s more? Because there is. Not only did Ray Ratto join me and Roth to explain why this tourney exists (money), but to preview the greater NBA season as well. Will the Clippers be the unhappiest team you’ve ever had the misfortune to watch? Can Patrick Beverley capably fill the dickhead void that James Harden has left behind in Philadelphia? Is acquiring Chris Paul ever a good idea for an aspiring title contender? Don’t worry, we answer all of those questions. Plus we remember some crimes! Tell me another sports podcast that gives you that much bang—Javaris Crittenton–style—for your buck?

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