New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – NBA owners voted unanimously Wednesday to change the Finals format to a more competitively balanced 2-2-1-1-1 beginning the 2014 Finals.
The league has been using the 2-3-2 format for almost 30 years.
To ease the transition, an extra day off will be added between Games 6 and 7.
Commissioner David Stern called it an “easy sell” to owners to help add competitive balance and align the Finals schedule with the rest of the playoffs.
“There’s been a sense among our teams that in a 2-2 series, it’s not fair for a team with the better record to be away [for Game 5],” said Commissioner David Stern. “It’s not fair for the better team in terms of record to spend as many as eight days away from home.”
Stern led the change to the 2-3-2 in 1985 due to complaints about too much travel and the desire for more media coverage.
It would still be under Stern’s helm when the league reverts back to 2-2-1-1-1, which was decided during the last owner’s meeting.
“It made sense to do it now,” said deputy and incoming commissioner Adam Silver. “Events came together over many years, and it reached a crescendo. The basketball people thought it was important, and the business people stood down and said it was no longer necessary.”
The owners meeting was generally lighthearted and used largely as an ode to Stern.
Other business covered at the meeting was the enhanced revenue-sharing system and a new arena in Sacramento scheduled to be opened in three years for the start of the 2016-17 season.