Luka Doncic questioned the point of the NBA’s postseason play-in tournament earlier this week and got public support from Mark Cuban. The owner of the Dallas Mavericks voted in favor of the format this past offseason, but quickly joined his star player in calling the expanded playoffs a mistake.
“In hindsight, this approach was an enormous mistake,” Cuban said of the play-in tournament, per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.
Although Cuban’s comments echoed around the league, not everyone was willing to let them slide. New Orleans Pelicans head coach Stan Van Gundy called out the Mavericks owner for voting for the format just to turn around and criticize it a few months later.
“It doesn’t matter what I think,” Van Gundy said, via USA Today. “We’re trying to get in (the play-in tournament). So what my own personal thing is on what they should or should not have done with that doesn’t even matter. I don’t think about it. We’re trying to get in it. So that’s what is important to me.
“I thought it was funny that Mark Cuban, who I absolutely love, pushed it,” Van Gundy continued. “Not only did he vote for it, but he pushed it. And now that they’re sitting where they are, they don’t like it.”
In light of Luka Doncic & Mark Cuban recently criticizing the play-in tournament during this condensed schedule, @JeffZillgitt & I look into how the NBA and other teams view it. Enjoy this quote from Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy https://t.co/JPi25dnOgO pic.twitter.com/VLJ3fVaO50
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) April 18, 2021
Cuban is a member of the NBA’s Board of Governor, which unanimously voted to approve the play-in tournament this season after experimenting with it during last year’s bubble playoffs. In 2021, the format will have the No. 7, No. 8, No. 9 and N0. 10 seeds play a series of games to determine the final two teams in each conference to make the postseason.
Both the Mavericks and the Pelicans are fighting for position in the Western Conference with less than a month to go before the start of the play-in. Dallas holds the No. 7 seed, while New Orleans sits in 11th, just two games behind the San Antonio Spurs.
The Mavericks and the Pelicans not only both have a real chance to be in next month’s play-in tournament, but may face one another when the time comes.