The NBA is not the only league which enjoys a lot of popularity among players. There is also an open-application tournament, called TBT, which attracts numerous players and teams to compete against each other to win the title.
Can NBA players play in TBT? Both current and former NBA players are free to take part in the TBT tournament that is held every year. There are no limitations whatsoever on the number of players participating in the tournament.
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Year after year more and more people are watching this open tournament, which is pretty interesting to observe. In this article we will talk more about the tournament, as well as its rules and players who have taken part in matches.
What is TBT?
The Basketball Tournament (TBT) or literally “The Basketball Tournament” is a 5-on-5 summer competition, where anyone can apply. The tournament was first organized in 2014, and here the teams immediately play elimination. Each team has its own general manager, who is responsible for filing an official application and selecting players. In different years, from 32 to 97 teams participated, now the league regulations suggest 64 teams, divided into 8 regions, based on their territorial principle. The winner claims the $2 million pot.
The main idea of the tournament is the presence of competition and accessibility for everyone: The goal is to create the most affordable sporting event in the world. While it has only been seven years the event has grown to one of the most anticipated sports tournaments in the country.
In the 2019 season, the new format received even more support from NBA players – already there were bigger stars. The tournament was attended by the teams “Loyalty is love” and “CP3”, organized by DeMarcus Cousins and Chris Paul. In addition, Andre Drummond and Major Bobby Portis tried themselves as coaches.
Players to Have Competed in the TBT Tournament
Former NBA players like Hakim Warrick, Mike Bibby, Jason Williams, Matt Bonner and Brian Scalabrine have come here to keep fit at various times, and it shows that the tournament really attracts a lot of athletes. American basketball players who returned from foreign tours also came: in 2017, Errick McCollum’s team won the tournament, in 2018 a memorable benefit was staged by center Greg Oden and Jimmer Fredette. John Wall, Kristaps Porzingis, Rudy Gay, Sean Livingston and Chandler Parsons provided media support to some of the teams.
Moreover, the league does not oppose the stars of the weaker sex. The opening season, for example, featured former women‘s NBA player Nikki Teasley, and recently league rookie Megan Gustafson, who was selected in the women’s NBA draft by the Dallas Mavericks under the 17th pick in the second round, also dropped in here.
We have talked about players who have played in the basketball tournament and it is necessary to talk about Elam Ending, that is a concept related to the tournament. In 2015, a year after the launch of The Basketball Tournament, founder Jonathan Mugar received an unusual email. The email demonstrated a new concept of basketball – the time counter turned off at the first whistle, if there were less than four minutes left until the end of the match, 7 points were virtually added to the leading team’s score, resulting in a virtual mark, to which the teams played. Mugar responded to the message.
The letter was written by a certain Nick Elam, an associate professor at Ball State University, a former math teacher and headmaster who had been a basketball fanatic since childhood. The idea, he says, came to him in his student days while watching a match. In order to return to the game and play for time, the losing team began to actively foul in the end – the pace of the game immediately lost, the style deteriorated – in a word, it became monstrously uninteresting and difficult to inspect. And Nick wondered: “How to make the last minutes of the match riveted to the screen just like the rest of the game?”
The idea was born – to get rid of the timer at the final stages of the match. However, in order for the concept to be considered by serious people, strong evidence of its consistency was required.
The detrimental effect of time on entertainment in the ending was obvious, but how massive it was, still had to be understood. Nick began to study the NBA and NCAA basketball games broadcast on TV. For ten years, he looked at about two thousand pieces of them, spending 6-8 hours a week on studying endings, and received a rather curious array of data, which he continues to supplement to this day.
In general, the environment for experiments is the most suitable, and where, if not here, go to the one who loves basketball and thirsts for metamorphosis. The league’s unusual rules also shout about it – 9-minute quarters and a timer off at the end.
Is It Unfair to Allow Pro NBA Players to Take Part in the Tournament?
For a moment it seems that when a lot of famous players take part in the tournament, it is a good idea from a spectator’s perspective, but on the other hand it could pave the way for inequality. A lot of basketball players with not much experience participate in different matches and having elite class players in front of you could be challenging. Because of that, a lot of people consider allowing professional players in the tournament unfair.