Skip to main content

Evan Wasch, the NBA executive who is responsible for the play-in tournament answers to LeBron's commentary

lebron james copy (2)

Imagine that one of the most famous athletes in the world want's to get you fired. That's what happened to Evan Wasch, Executive Vice President, Basketball Strategy & Analytics at the NBA. Evan is also one of the executives who have enabled the play-in tournament.

After being asked about the play-in tournament that the Lakers will likely have to play, LeBron James recently criticized the idea.

"Whoever came up with that s--- needs to be fired.

LeBron James

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

So, Evan got the chance to defend himself and the Association. He sat with Chris Haynes on the "Posted Up" podcast and explained that the idea of the play-in tournament was around for years, but the last year's NBA season offered a perfect time to implement it.

"I've got a lot of messages, and I was a bit confused about what was happening, and then I picked up the commentary. So there's a couple of things. One, it's not directed at me personally. I've said already that this is a concept that pre-dates my time at the NBA. I am the spokesperson for the tournament, but not the creator of the concept ", Evan said.

Evan Wasch, via Posted Up

He also explained that he was inspired by the English soccer Premier League when creating the play-in tournament. The idea is to break the traditional two-tier competition, where you have the eight playoff teams in each conference and eight out of the playoff picture. NBA execs, including Evan, wanted to make the league more competitive down the stretch and make the regular season more entertaining. However, LeBron isn't a fan of it, as he publicly stated. Considering the Lakers' health issues, LeBron doesn't want more games before the playoffs, but Wasch explains that the project is susceptible to changes.

"It's a helpful process that we have with our players and our teams that they feel that they can speak out. Of course, the 7 and 8 seeds will feel aggrieved by this format because they would be going to the playoffs prior to this. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. The format wil surely be reviewed at the end of the season, and we will continue to tweak the tournament accordingly", Wasch concluded.

Evan Wasch, via Posted Up

It seems that the play-in tournament needs some changes, firstly because the difference between the eighth and ninth seed could potentially be ten or more games. And that's the thing the NBA will try to fix in future seasons. But, as it goes for this season, the play-in tournament will stay as it is, so if the Lakers end up in the tournament, they'll have to battle it out, regardless of what LeBron thinks of it.

Grant Hill recalls competing against the original Dream Team

“My head was terrible” – Grant Hill shares a funny story about his bad haircut before historic college 1991 Final Four

Grant Hill talks about how his infamous haircut prevents him from watching his old Duke highlights

January 26, 2023; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic twists his ankle during the game against the Phoenix Suns in the first half at Footprint Center

Troubles in Dallas? – Luka Doncic leaves the game early with left ankle sprain

There's still no timetable for Doncic's return after he suffered a twisted ankle in a 99-95 win over the Phoenix Suns.

Michael Jordan

"I'll bring back some laughter to this team" — Michael Jordan was the Bulls' funny guy before he became its tyrant

Before the All-Star Break in the 1985-86 season, the Chicago Bulls had a poor 17-34 record. The young Michael Jordan wanted to help his team in any way he could.

Why Shaq sold his Auntie Anne’s business: Black people don’t like Pretzels

"I didn't want to be greatest" — Shaquille O'Neal on the sneaky reason why he didn't aim to be the GOAT during his playing days

Shaquille O'Neal planned on delivering the most arrogant speech ever if he passed Wilt Chamberlain in points.

Dallas Mavericks shooting guard Delonte West (13) tries to dribble around Utah Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward (20)

"I didn't think it was going to be that steep" — Delonte West's honest thoughts on giving Gordon Hayward a wet willie

A closer look at the incident reveals Delonte West actually gave Gordon Hayward a dry willie.

TNT anchor Kenny Smith introduces Team Shaq general manager Shaquille O'Neal and Team Chuck general manager Charles Barkley

“I never feel in competition with those guys” - Kenny Smith reveals why he, Shaquille O’Neal, and Charles Barkley are a perfect fit on TV

Kenny Smith recently dived into why the brother hood between himself, Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley manifests itself on the big screen