The NBA reveals stadium designs for its championship season

The NBA reveals stadium designs for its championship season

LOS ANGELES – The NBA’s season-opening tournament presented an interesting dilemma for league officials: Championship games (excluding the championship game) would count in the standings as regular-season games, but officials felt they had to have a different look and feel if the new event was to gain credibility. He will feature on the 82-game calendar.

Hoping to hit the ground running when the tournament begins the season on Friday, the NBA has undertaken a comprehensive visual redesign of its courts, eschewing traditional hardwood for a painted look that prominently displays the new NBA Cup trophy design on center court and on the court. Paint on both ends of the floor. The distinct stadiums, which match the color scheme of each team’s “City Edition” jerseys, will be used during all championship games of the season to help fans and television viewers quickly distinguish between events and non-tournament matches.

To maintain consistency throughout the league, each championship stadium is oriented horizontally to the television audience. The approximately 94 feet long and 50 feet wide deck is divided into thirds, with one dominant color at the top and bottom separated by a 16-foot central strip of secondary color. The dominant color also appears around the edges of the playing surface on all four sides to enhance the bold aesthetic.

For example, the Los Angeles Lakers will play on a court that is predominantly yellow and has a purple central stripe. The Lakers logo appears on center court above the NBA Cup trophy.

“We’re all trying to figure out the best ways we can elevate this regular season so people understand how important this is,” said Christopher Arena, the NBA’s president of on-court and brand partnerships. “It all comes together in the most powerful way on these courts. This is the first time we have had fully painted courts. There is no wood on display. Every court takes its inspiration from the uniforms.”

When NBA officials showed the design of the Phoenix Suns’ championship arena to Kevin Durant, the 13-time All-Star expressed disbelief and amazement.

“We’re playing on a purple court in the NBA? No, no way,” Durant said. “I’ve never done that before, have I?” This is madness.”

In fact, Phoenix Stadium is starkly different from the team’s normal look, which uses standard hardwood, sports an orange logo in center court and purple paint in the key. In contrast, the Championship Court is purple above and below with turquoise as the central stripe. On Center Court, “El Valle” — Spanish for “the valley” — was written above the NBA Cup trophy logo.

At Capital One Arena, the Washington Wizards will play on a gray court with a teal center stripe bearing the team’s logo at center court.

The NBA’s redesigned championship courts are perhaps most evident in Boston, where the Celtics will replace their signature parquet design with a deep green court and a champagne center bar. “Boston” appears on center field, while legendary coach Red Auerbach’s name and the number 6, representing retired Hall of Famer Bill Russell’s jersey, are at the bottom of the design.

The in-season tournament begins Friday and will continue on Tuesdays and Fridays throughout November, excluding Election Day. The event will conclude at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with the semifinals on December 7 and the championship match on December 9.

The multi-round tournament begins with 30 teams divided into six groups of five in a round-robin group stage. Eight teams – the six group winners and the wildcard – will qualify for the knockout round. The championship games for each team in the season will count as part of the 82-game schedule, but teams that advance to the championship game will play the 83rd game which will not affect the regular season standings.

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The NBA hopes the in-season tournament will improve early-season competition the way the play-in tournament, introduced in 2020, helped improve the final two months of the regular season. The season’s champion will raise the NBA Trophy, manufactured by Tiffany & Co., and each player on the winning team will receive a $500,000 bonus and a medal. The NBA will also recognize the best player and team from all leagues to add attraction.

In addition to the new stadiums and jerseys, which will be unveiled later this week, teams will wear tournament-specific shooting jerseys throughout the season and ball carriers will be decorated with a new badge. For the semi-finals and finals of the tournament, the match ball will be decorated with a special logo.

While Arena said the NBA’s traditional “aesthetic trend” was to treat the court as a backstage “stage” so that “the focus (will be) on the game,” the championship courts were intended to be eye-catching in their own right. To help advertise the new event.

“To put the focus on the stage, to have something that really forces you to stop and look and focus, we think that’s the right thing to do for this tournament at this time,” he said.

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