Adam Silver discusses potential changes to playoff system at NBA’s All-Star weekend

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NEW YORK — Adam Silver has been open to the idea of making changes to the NBA’s playoff format, where the best 16 teams regardless of conference would gain entry into the postseason.

Speaking to reporters at his annual All-Star weekend press conference in advance of Saturday night’s events, Silver provided a little more insight as to exactly how those changes might be made, while cautioning that there is no easy or perfect solution.

“Playoffs, that’s an issue that I’ve gotten a lot of feedback on,” Silver said. “Once again, if there was a simple solution we would have made it long ago. I understand the notion that we should have the absolute 16 best teams competing in the playoffs seemingly regardless of conferences and divisions. I am a believer, though, in the conference and the division system. It’s a tradeoff from the earlier issue I talked about. To the extent that you have a balanced schedule, meaning every team roughly played each other the same amount of times, it would require a lot more travel. That goes against the notion of ensuring that our teams are rested when they play.”

Silver also mentioned looking at the league’s scheduling, to cut down on the wear and tear players feel by having to play back-to-backs and four games in five nights during stretches of the 82-game regular season. But more than anything, he seemed reluctant to make any of the changes too severe, and, based on the ideas he was throwing out there, it’s clear that the planning of all of this is in the extremely early stages.

“I believe in the conference system, although I think there may be some tweaks,” Silver said. “There’s been some proposals about maybe division winners are ensured playoff spots. Maybe it’s the top two teams in each division and maybe there’s some teams that, therefore, get seeded based on their record.”

In addition to coming up with precisely what the new format would be, Silver is trying to be cognizant of the potential for unintended consequences.

“I’m also focused on the parade of horribles. You keep hearing it,” Silver said. “That somehow we’ll end up with Miami playing Portland in the first round [a logistical nightmare from a travel perspective]. I don’t mean to suggest that’s not a real issue. We have to look at that as well and see statistically what’s the likelihood of that happening. But it’s a balance. There will be no perfect solution here. But it is something that the Competition Committee needs to focus on and the owners need to focus on, as well.”

Silver has said previously that any changes wouldn’t happen until the 2016-17 season at the earliest, and reiterated that while giving these remarks. He also said that while he hasn’t officially polled the owners on this, he believes they will ultimately do what’s best for the league as a whole, rather than looking at a solution that, in the short term, may provide an immediate benefit to their specific situation.

“I think we have a group of owners who are willing to take a long‑term view ultimately,” Silver said. “They understand over time that we’re in a highly competitive marketplace. That we want to put our best foot forward. That we want the best product on the court. That’s been the way they’ve approached all our issues.”

“I think it’s a difficult issue, because there are no perfect solutions,” Silver said. “It’s early days but we’re going to take a very hard look at it.”

Ben Simmons reps ‘Egg Boy’ on shoes (PHOTO)

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The internet has tried to raise several thousand dollars for Will Connolly, better known as “Egg Boy”, after he slapped an egg on the head of New Zealand senator Fraser Annig. As of publication, the Go Fund Me has more than $71,000, which will be donated to the victims of the Christchurch mosque shootings.

Connolly went viral as the perfect, realtime response to the racist views espoused by Annig, who spoke of anti-immigrant (and anti-Muslim) rhetoric directly following the Christchurch massacre despite himself being an immigrant to New Zealand.

Thanks to his courageous act, Connolly has become a kind of internet sensation. A native of Australia, Connolly got a little recognition by countryman Ben Simmons on Tuesday.

Via Twitter:

Gen Z is going to save us.

Report: Markelle Fultz is moving rehab from L.A. to Orlando

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Orlando Magic coach Steve Clifford has already said that former No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz is not expected back on the court this season. Fultz was traded back in February from the Philadelphia 76ers to his new home in Central Florida.

Now it appears that Fultz will be doing his rehabilitation back in Orlando. According to a recent report from Josh Robbins, Fultz will shift his rehab from Los Angeles to Florida from here on out. To that end, Fultz said he wants to be closer to his new teammates.

Via The Athletic:

“I think it’s what’s best for me and the team,” Fultz said after he watched practice Tuesday. “(It’s beneficial) just being around these guys, so they see my face and I see their face. I’m going to learn as much as I can. As we make this push for the playoffs, I want to be here with my guys and just support them.”

Fultz is still trying to get his shoulder right, and not to mention his shooting stroke and comfortability on an NBA floor. If anything, his return back to the Magic organization should be seen as a good sign, especially as the season comes to a close. A lot of players already spend their offseason in Los Angeles, so the idea that Fultz would want to return shortly before the Magic season ends is encouraging.

We don’t have a timeline for his return just yet, but at this point Fultz is a reclamation project that Orlando is happy to have under their guidance. If they can turn him into an NBA player, they could have something special at a relatively low asset cost.

Report: Doc Rivers agrees to an extension with Clippers

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Doc Rivers will be staying with the Los Angeles Clippers.

According to multiple reports, Rivers and owner Steve Ballmer have agreed to an extension that will keep Rivers with the Clippers organization “long term”.  Some earlier rumors had Rivers potentially being a candidate for the Los Angeles Lakers, who are presumed to have an opening this summer. But Rivers told reporters on Tuesday that he isn’t going to be heading across the hall, and that he’s happy where he is.

Via Twitter:

Rivers has led the Clippers to a surprising season, one that should result in a postseason bid despite a sort of ramshackle roster.

I think Rivers’ legacy was called into question following the departure of both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, but his ability to create a winning atmosphere in L.A. in a post-star era for the Clippers is a testament to his ability.

Of course, Rivers might not have to go without a star for too long. Rumor has it Kawhi Leonard still favors the Clippers as a top destination this summer should he choose to leave the Toronto Raptors.

A fan paid nearly $7,000 to see LeBron and Giannis, then got neither

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March in the NBA can be a bit of a gamble for fans looking to score tickets as a means to watch their favorite players play. On good teams or bad, stars are subject to rest this late in the season.

Apparently one fan found that out the hard way after shelling out several thousands of dollars to see Giannis Antetokounmpo square off against LeBron James on Tuesday.

With the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers set to go head-to-head in Wisconsin, neither Antetokounmpo or LeBron will be on the floor. That’s going to upset one fan who, according to Darren Rovell, paid $6,970.50 for courtside seats.

I had a friend have this happen to him recently. Expecting a trip to New Orleans, he purchased tickets to watch the Pelicans play the Portland Trail Blazers earlier in the year. His tickets were for several rows behind the Blazers bench, and although they weren’t too expensive, no doubt they would have left wallet a bit thicker if he would have known that Anthony Davis would not have been playing.

Stay home, watch the game on your 4K television, and have a private bathroom and fridge. I know I shouldn’t tell you not to go to NBA games, but at least this wouldn’t happen to you if you stayed home.