NBA unveils special courts for in-season tournament games and they are... something


The NBA wants its inaugural in-season tournament to stand out from the regular season — even if all but the championship games count toward the regular season — and it is going out of its way with designated nights for the games, unique uniforms, and now...

Special courts. They are loud and not about to be confused with a regular season court that has a semblance of wood in the design. Here are a few highlights, but these are all variations on this theme.

From the official NBA press release on the courts:

The unified look represents the first time that the league has implemented an alternate court for all 30 teams and the first time that any NBA team has played on a fully painted court with no woodgrain details. This will also mark the first time that the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans and Portland Trail Blazers will play on an alternate court in the history of the franchises.

The courts, featuring vibrant and bold colors, share the following design details: A fully painted court, edge-to-edge; A larger-than-life NBA Cup at center court, prominently displaying to players and fans the new trophy that will be awarded to the champion; Team logos across the NBA Cup at center court and on the baselines.

How you feel about these courts is almost a Rorschach Test for how you feel about the new in-season tournament. We're keeping an open mind here, but wonder how casual fans will react to all this going on and how much bandwidth it will get during the middle of football season dominating the American airwaves (not to mention the World Series going on). Don't expect players or anyone with a team to say a bad word publicly about the tournament, Adam Silver and the league office REALLY want this to work and nobody wants to cross them.

The in-season tournament starts this Friday night with seven games, including the Knicks at the Bucks. The group stage games and quarter-final knockout games will continue on Tuesday and Friday nights into early December — all on these courts you see above — until the final four teams are reached. Then the semi-finals and finals will take place at a neutral location in Las Vegas.

The in-season tournament is coming this week — on some very loud courts — whether you are ready or not.