The NBA’s in-season tournament courts are a safety concern, and we don’t mean to players’ eyes.
While the colorful changes to courts throughout the league have garnered mixed reactions, players are becoming increasingly vocal about their quality. On Friday, two-time All-Star Jaylen Brown was the latest to join the fray, calling the conditions at Scotiabank Arena “unacceptable” following the Boston Celtics’ 108-105 win over the Toronto Raptors.
After the game, Brown revealed that he may have strained his groin slipping on the court, adding that “guys were slipping all over the place, not just me.”
“I think as players we’re all here for the in-season tournament because it’s going to generate revenue, excitement, competition, but we’ve got to make sure the floor is safe to play on,” Brown said via Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe. “We can’t put our players out there and risk their health.”
Brown isn’t the first player to voice displeasure over the courts. Indiana Pacers point guard Tyrese Haliburton wondered if others had similar trouble finding their footing as he did on his home court. At the same time, Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic shredded the flashy hardwoods in New Orleans.
“I think the court today was really bad,” Doncic told Grant Afseth of SI.com. “It was really slippery, and in some places, the ball didn’t really bounce. If we’re going to have these courts, we need to make sure that it’s a stable court.”
The NBA has obviously pulled out all the stops to ensure that the tournament is a rousing success and one with lasting power. However, if it means sacrificing a safe playing surface, the league will quickly realize the heavy price should one of its star players suffer a significant injury on the floor.