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October 30, 2023

Sixers, NBA reveal ambitious in-season tournament court designs

The Sixers will play on a red court that builds off the designs of their Reading Terminal Market City Edition jerseys for the NBA's in-season tournament.

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Sixers-Pistons-Wells-Fargo-Center_012821_Kate_Frese4.jpg Kate Frese/For PhillyVoice

The Wells Fargo Center before the Sixers took on the Detroit Pistons back on October 28, 2021.

The NBA is bringing on an in-season tournament this year as a means to try and break up the monotony of what had long become a stale 82-game schedule. 

And when it does finally get going just shy of a couple of weeks from now, everyone is going to know it. 

On Monday, the league revealed new court designs unique to all 30 teams for use during the in-season tournament. The designs, which all feature the tournament trophy at center court and within the keys, are built off the looks of the 2023-24 City Edition jerseys and, in an NBA first, are fully painted from end to end. 

Here's what the Sixers' court design is going to look like at the Wells Fargo Center, expanding on their recently revealed Reading Terminal Market-inspired alternates:

So let's just get to it right off the bat: That's a lot of red. 

Definitely new, and definitely unique, for sure. Though I do have concerns about how that will actually look when it's on TV. Between trying to keep track of an orange basketball and the glare of the lights reflecting off the floor, I'm not sure how easy on the eyes this is going to end up being – and that's not even to mention potential issues regarding colorblindness, citing back to the infamous Bills-Jets Color Rush game in the NFL from 2015.

The Sixers aren't the only team going heavy on red with their court design either, as the Bulls, Rockets, Heat, and Trail Blazers are each leaning in with a (mostly) all-red floor as well. 

Again credit to the NBA for taking the leap on something new. It's just with some of these floors, it has to be seen how this is going to play out once games on them actually get going after a design and planning process that maybe didn't receive as much time as the NBA would've liked, per Zach Lowe over at ESPN.

"We started making decisions later than we probably could have," Christopher Arena, the league's head of on-court and brand partnerships, told ESPN. "And it became, 'OK, how are we going to do this? How are we going to get 30 courts to 30 teams in 29 buildings, and do it in time? Are we crazy?'"

Maybe. But we'll see how it plays out. It's definitely an idea worth building on in the years to follow. And to be fair, other designs – like the Pelicans and Bucks, for me at least – are pretty cool. You can check them all out on the NBA's website here.

The NBA's in-season tournament will run from November into December, culminating in a championship game at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on December 9. 

The Sixers will begin their round of group play on November 10 at Detroit, in a format you can read more about here.

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