Before officially announcing the resumption of the NBA season, the league discussed many different proposals of possible formats. It was unlikely for all 30 teams to return, therefore an alternative format was needed. According to NBA commissioner Adam Silver, the NBA legend and Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan spoke in favor of sticking to a normal format as much as possible and not be gimmicky.
“This was a point made by Michael Jordan whose team the Charlotte Hornets are not one of the 22 teams. But clearly he’s the most respected voice in the room when it comes to basketball. He felt that it was very important that after we establish the 16 teams, we’d not be gimmicky. Because there were a lot of proposals on the table to do unique tournaments and pool play like you see in international competition. And we took those proposals very seriously,” Silver said.
“But I think ultimately, and I agree with Michael, that there’s so much chaos in the world right now. Even before the racial unrest we’re experiencing now that let’s close to normal as we can and as close to normal as we can is top 8 in the West and top 8 in the East playing four rounds of seven games. So that’s what we intend to do and our goal is to crown a champion.”