Lakers’ Darvin Ham has idea to make In-Season Tournament even better.

JUST IN: Lakers Ham Has Idea To Make In-Season…..

Lakers’ Darvin Ham has idea to make In-Season Tournament even better
The coach suggests that increasing the prize purse – players on the winning team get $500K each with the runner-up collecting $200K per player – will create even more intensity
Lakers coach Darvin Ham has a suggestion to make the NBA’s In-Season Tournament even more competitive – increase the prize purse. (AP Photo/Ryan Sun)
Lakers coach Darvin Ham has a suggestion to make the NBA’s In-Season Tournament even more competitive – increase the prize purse. (AP Photo/Ryan Sun)
PUBLISHED: December 7, 2023 at 7:57 p.m. | UPDATED: December 7, 2023 at 8:07 p.m.

LAS VEGAS — With the NBA and the In-Season Tournament’s semifinalists descending upon “Sin City” for the competition’s final four, a common talking point has been what could be improved for future iterations of the event.

Lakers coach Darvin Ham, whose team faced the New Orleans Pelicans on the Western Conference side of the bracket Thursday night to see who’d advance to the championship game on Saturday, had an idea.

“Yeah, add more money to the purse,” Ham responded.

Anything else?

“Once I reflect, I’m sure I can come up with something,” Ham said, “but right now just add more money to the purse.”

The monetary incentives for advancing and winning the tournament have been a common talking point. It’s also something the Lakers haven’t shied away from acknowledging

There is prize money for all the players on the teams that are the tournament winner ($500,000), runner-up ($200,000), semifinalists ($100,000) or quarterfinalists ($50,000). Coaches will also get a prize pool, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Indiana Pacers beat the Milwaukee Bucks earlier Thursday to advance to Saturday’s championship game, so Pacers players are guaranteed to take home at least $200,000.

But one idea that’s been brought up is having another team incentive beyond the money and having playoff positioning or tiebreakers for playoff spots tied to tournament play.

“Possibly,” Ham responded when asked about that idea. “That’s something definitely that should be looked at. Maybe it’s some type of draft competition as well as the purse, I don’t know, something like that. I think it would be cool.

“But if you want the players to play at an extremely high level, increase the purse.”

For the first time during tournament play, the Lakers weren’t wearing their black “California Dream” City Edition jerseys on Thursday.

The Lakers instead wore their “gold” icon edition jerseys.

Laker players preferred to wear the black jerseys, but ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, citing unnamed sources, reported that the league prevented that because of “concerns over the visual contrast between the jerseys and the design of the specialized in-season court the semifinals will be played on at T-Mobile Arena.”

The Pelicans wore their white “Association” jerseys.

The Bucks and Pacers didn’t wear their city edition jerseys in the early game either, playing in their white and yellow jerseys, respectively.

The league held a moment of silence before the Lakers’ game in honor of those affected by the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Wednesday that left at least three dead on the UNLV campus – just a few miles away from where the tournament will wrap up.

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In the wake of the shooting during his media availability on Wednesday afternoon, Lakers star LeBron James, who has been a vocal advocate for gun control and reform for years, offered his condolences to the families and friends who lost their loved ones while also criticizing gun policies in the U.S.

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Ham also offered his condolences before Thursday’s game.

“I just want to take this time to give my one thoughts and condolences on behalf of our team, the Lakers,” Ham said. “Bron mentioned it [Wednesday]. To all the family and friends of the victims that suffered what they went through. Unfortunate tragedy. Hopefully, we can get better.”

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