Kristaps Porzingis explains why he ‘loves’ the idea of the NBA’s in-season tournament


Porzingis said he grew up playing in similar tournaments when he was in Europe.

Kristaps Porzingis. AP Photo/Charles Krupa
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Kristaps Porzingis understands that some people are skeptical about the NBA’s new in-season tournament that is scheduled to tip off this weekend.

The concept has been used in other sports leagues but is new to the NBA.

Porzingis says he’s in favor of the idea. He explained why at practice on Thursday.

“I love it. In Europe, we always have some sort of tournament in preseason or during the year,” Porzingis said. “When I was growing up, I always enjoyed those kind of tournaments. It kind of just put more of a spotlight on something that’s midseason and stuff like that.”

The tournament is divided into six groups: East A, East B, East C, West A, West B, and West C.

The Celtics, along with the Nets, Raptors, Bulls, and Magic are in East C.

The tournament begins with group play, which will take place on Tuesday and Friday nights from Nov. 3 – 28. Group play games also count as regular-season games.

A team’s record in group play will decide whether it qualifies for the knockout rounds.

Eight teams will advance from group play to the quarterfinals [Dec. 4-5]. A win in the quarterfinals would put a team in the semifinals [Dec. 7]. A championship game will be played on Dec. 9 in Las Vegas.

The quarterfinal and semifinal games count as regular-season games, but the championship game does not.

There is an In-Season Tournament prize pool that will be allocated to players based on how far their team makes it. An in-season tournament MVP and All-Tournament team will be named. The winning team claims the NBA Cup and $500,000 per player in prize money.

The Celtics will begin group play on Nov. 10 against Brooklyn at TD Garden.

“It’s been presented really well here in the NBA, and we’ll see what happens,” Porzingis said. “But I believe it’s going to be a good success. Although I know a lot of people are a little bit skeptical, it’s going to be a huge success and I look forward to hopefully winning it.”