"It's obvious we're not going to have enough players left to play a full NBA Finals," commissioner David Stern said, "so we'll be replacing the Finals with a 3-on-3 game."
The NBA playoffs have already seen players like Derrick Rose, Iman Shumpert, Baron Davis and Chris Bosh go down with injuries. On Monday, both Avery Bradley and Kendrick Perkins missed extended portions of their respective games, leading Stern to make the drastic, but necessary, change.
Under the new NBA Finals format, the winners of the Eastern and Western Conferences will still meet, but instead of being forced to field full rosters, each team will only need three healthy players. The best-of-7 series will be reduced to a single game, using standard halfcourt 3-on-3 rules.
"We'll play to 21, make-it-take-it, and you have to clear past the three point line, unless its an airball," Stern said. "It'll just be one game, unless the loser angrily declares 'best of three' within 24 seconds of completion of the first game. Standard three-on-three rules, basically."
Should injuries continue to pile up in the early rounds, the NBA said it would consider implementing the 3-on-3 format for the conference finals, or possibily even reducing rosters further.
"2-on-2 isn't out of the question. Or even 1-on-1," Stern said. "Hell, let's just make it Durant vs. LeBron right now. Anyone object?"
The Lakers' Kobe Bryant said he was in favor of going all the way down to 1-on-1, as long as he got a chance to compete for the title.
"Anything to get rid of Bynum and Gasol," he said. "And Steve Blake. And Mike Brown. Everyone. I'll win this damn thing myself."
Bryant proceeded to lose to Kevin Durant, 11-4.