Stephen A. Smith says now is the time for the NBA to try the 1-16 seeded playoffs

Stephen A. Smith joins SportsCenter to discuss the NFL’s amendments to its Rooney Rule, and also talks about the restart to the 2019-20 NBA season, saying now is the time to go to a conference-free, 1-16 seeded tournament.

“Personally speaking, I don’t care whether it’s one location or two. You get 16 teams in and all of that noise that we’ve made in the past about instead of going Eastern Conference, Western Conference, just putting forth the top 16 seeds. Remember the one impediment towards that agenda was the fact that you would have to travel,” Smith said on ESPN’s SportsCenter.

“If the Lakers, God forbid, were the number one seed while the Boston Celtics were the sixteenth seed, do you want them travelling across country in the First Round series. Well, guess what, if everybody’s gonna be at the same location or one or two the same locations Orlando or Las Vegas that’s easy to do. I think this is a prime opportunity for the NBA to entertain that 1 to 16 seed and do it that way the way it’s bracketed in the NCAA tournament as opposed to the play-in tournament.”

He also thinks the teams that have a shot at the playoffs, such as New Orleans or Sacramento, could have a play-in tournament while those that have no chance of qualifying should be allowed to take a break and should be playing.