NBA Player Complaints Continue About In-Season Tournament Courts

Kim Wahlgren Headshot

The Boston Celtics' Jaylen Brown is the latest NBA player to complain about what some players are claiming are slippery In-Season Tournament courts that are being used for NBA games with In-Season Tournament implications.

Brown slipped while defending an inbounds play in the final seconds of the Celtics' game on the Toronto Raptors' IST court on Friday and said after the game he might have a groin injury, although he then played 34 minutes in the Celtics' win Sunday against the Memphis Grizzlies.

“I slipped. I might have strained my groin a little bit,” Brown said after the game against the Raptors. “We’ll see how it feels. The court was just slippery all game. As players, we’re all here for the in-season tournament because it’s going to generate revenue, excitement, competition, etc. We’ve got to make sure the floor is safe to play on. We can’t put our players out there and risk their health. Tonight, I thought the floor was kind of unacceptable. Guys were slipping all over the place, not just me.”

NBC Sports Boston commentator Brian Scalabrine said during the broadcast, “I like the way this court looks, but there’s been about 10 times that guys are slipping all over the place. If they’re going to do these floors, you’ve got to make sure you’re taking care of the guys.”

The concerns follow Dallas Maverick superstar Luka Doncic's complaints after the Mavericks had a loss on the New Orlean Pelicans IST court on Nov. 14.  

"I mean, outside of all of the courts, I think the court today was really bad," Doncic said. "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."

Indiana Pacers players Myles Turner and Tyrese Haliburton both complained about slipping after playing on the Pacers’ IST court for the first time on Nov. 3.

Multiple basketball court experts WFB spoke with said that while the IST courts are unusual because they are completely painted, there is no logical reason why the IST courts would be more slippery than the other courts used for the NBA. The IST courts are coated with the same finishes used on the regular courts, and it's hardly unusual for those finishes to be used over paint, which is commonly used for large graphics and the lanes on NBA courts. Finishes used on basketball courts are tested for safety by the Maple Floor Manufacturers Association

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