The NBA has decided that it’s going to stoke the flames of serious rivalries in the 2022-23 season.
We got an entertaining, surprising new addition to the official schedule when it was released on Wednesday.
Included in the schedule was something called “Rivals Week”.
As you can imagine, it’s a period of time in the NBA when the biggest rivals within the league will go head-to-head.
The plan here is to schedule games that will get people talking, attract viewers, and have some of the biggest teams in the association battle it out.
I love this new addition of “rivals week” to the NBA schedule. (Jan. 24-28)
Celtics v Heat
Clippers v Lakers
Nets v Harden & 76ers
Grizz v Warriors
Ball brothers face off
Suns v Mavs
Wolves v Grizz
Raptors v Warriors
MVP Jokic v Runner-up Embiid
Knicks v Nets
Lakers v Celtics
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) August 17, 2022
Throughout Rivals Week, we will see multiple NBA teams face off against their biggest competitors and most legendary opponents.
For example, the Phoenix Suns will take on the Dallas Mavericks, who stunned them last season when they pushed them out of the Western Conference semifinals.
The New York Knicks will battle the Brooklyn Nets, back-to-back MVP winner Nikola Jokic will take on runner-up Joel Embiid and his Philadelphia 76ers, and Lonzo Ball will square off against his brother, LaMelo, as the Chicago Bulls play the Charlotte Hornets.
There will be other rivalries on full display too when the Los Angeles Lakers go toe-to-toe against the Boston Celtics and the Memphis Grizzlies duke it out with the Golden State Warriors.
Some of these matchups aren’t as exciting (are the Minnesota Timberwolves and Memphis Grizzlies really rivals?) but generally this is a smart, novel idea.
The league has been trying to find ways to drum up interest in the season from beginning to end and inject excitement into the mid-season and this may go a long way to doing that.
If the first Rivals Week is a hit, you can expect to see many more in the future.