View Full Version : Anybody know why the 2-3-2 finals format came about?

06-11-2008, 02:02 PM
Just wondering.

06-11-2008, 02:09 PM
Back in the day (when the NBA was trying to reinvent itself and reenergize the fans and create new ones) it was thought the old format 2-2-1-1-1 was creating too much travel. Not only for the players but for the media that the NBA hoped would be covering and hyping the games. The 2-3-2 format eliminated a lot of travel.

Stern claims Red Auerbach planted the bug in his ear to make this change... but then later admits Red didn't like the 2-3-2 format.

2-2-1-1-1 IMHO is a better format for creating drama. Of course 1-1-2-2-1 might have its own drama

...At least that is the story being spun by the NBA these days. Sounds logical enough... altho I would've thought by the time the move was made the NBA would've been back on firm ground thus making the need for 2-3-2 more questionable.

06-11-2008, 02:33 PM
Another theory was that every year it was the Celtics vs the Lakers, and traveling from Boston to LA is a long trip.

Baseball does 2-3-2

06-11-2008, 02:54 PM
When this was done in 1985, the NBA was certainly not "on firm ground" really. It wasn't about to fold, but it certainly wasn't a billion-dollar industry or anything and multiple teams were certainly worried about losing tons of money.

Here's a quote from the Baltimore Sun article that talks about the need for greater media coverage to promote the NBA back then.

Baltimore Sun
Ken Berger


In '85, before Michael Jordan (http://www.baltimoresun.com/topic/sports/basketball/michael-jordan-PESPT008489.topic) changed the landscape of the NBA forever, Stern said he agreed to the 2-3-2 format, in part, because limiting travel would "induce media to cover us." With an eight-year, $7.4-billion broadcast deal with ESPN/ABC and TNT, Stern doesn't need the traditional media the way he did in the old days, when he used to personally call newspaper sports editors and beg them to cover the All-Star Game.

The point of the article is that this is no longer needed. Yes, there are actually fewer large newspaper reporters being credentialed for the NBA Finals than year's past (due to dwindling newpaper profits leading to fewer resources for reporter travel not due to waning interest), but the international, blogosphere and NBA.com coverage means the issue of getting people to cover the games is not likely to be affected by additional travel needed from the media.

06-11-2008, 02:56 PM
I'm convinced it's strictly for financial reasons... there's more money to be made if you are able to camp two teams into a city for a full week in the middle of a Finals series...

06-11-2008, 09:30 PM
David Stern said as a rookie commissioner that Red Auerbach came to him and begged him to not make the celtics and lakers travel 4,000 miles between games , 5, 6 and 7 every year.

He passed the idea around, and the teams liked it.

06-11-2008, 10:52 PM
They need to change this back. 2-3-2 is awful

06-12-2008, 02:33 AM
honestly nowadays especially... the format in place is economically better than the old days...

It is fiscally and environmentally irresponsibleto fly BACK and FORTH across the U.S. .. with the oil prices of today.. when it is not necessary

06-12-2008, 11:55 AM
I don't see any problem with the 2-3-2 format. The team with homecourt advantage wins the series 75% of the time and only 2 teams since 1985 have won the 3 home games between games 3-5.

However, it has happened twice in the past 4 years (2004 Pistons and 2006 Heat) and that's probably why teams are starting to worry about it. I don't think it's a problem but I wouldn't care much if they decided to change it to have all series switch to 2-2-1-1-1.