Daryl Morey throws serious shade at LeBron James for play-in tournament criticism

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

Daryl Morey and LeBron James see the NBA’s play-in tournament differently.

After Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James recently ripped the upcoming play-in tournament to shreds, Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey threw shade at James.

For the first time in several years, the NBA Playoffs will have a different feel to them. The top six seeds in both conferences will automatically qualify for the postseason, while teams seeded seventh through 10th will have to duke it out in a play-in tournament. While Morey’s 76ers are the top seed in the East, James’ defending NBA champion Lakers occupy the No. 7 seed in the West.

James may not like playing an extra round, but Morey sees the big picture here: It is all about the money.

Daryl Morey pushes back on LeBron James’ critique of the play-in tournament

Look. We have no idea if the play-in tournament is going to work or not, but the NBA owes it to itself to give it a try this season. The NBA needs to find smart and creative ways to recoup the revenue it lost during the global pandemic. By affording two-thirds of the league an opportunity to play for a championship, it could keep five-sixths of the entire league and its fanbases engaged.

Because star players dominate on the hardwood, parity is incredibly hard to come by in the NBA. While only a handful of teams can win the NBA Finals this year, we saw first-hand was playing in the Orlando bubble did for the confidence of teams like the Miami Heat, the Phoenix Suns and the Portland Trail Blazers. Maybe this play-in tournament does wonders for somebody else this year?

Though it could be a disaster, the play-in tournament is an innovative idea that should be explored.