What is NBA Rivals Week? Explanation and history

Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

In the NBA today, there are an increasingly large number of exciting teams and players to root for. Dazzling talents from every corner of the country give nearly everyone a reason to tune in to hoops action.

When these high-level players go up against one another time after time, personalities clash and rivalries form organically. Knowing the amount of marketable talent they had on their hands, the league opted for a new strategy to showcase interesting players and rivalries in the form of NBA Rivals Week.

What is NBA Rivals Week?

With so many exciting players and intriguing teams, the NBA decided to organize an array of  the best rivalry matchups, both old and new. It is a week-long event featuring what the NBA considers some of the best rivalries in the league.

When is NBA Rivals Week?

This season, NBA Rivals Week will be from January 23 through January 27. 11 games will be played during the five-day stretch. There will be two games each night from Tuesday through Friday, with three games on the slate for Saturday.

When did NBA Rivals Week start?

The concept of NBA Rivals Week initially debuted last season, making this coming year’s iteration the second occurrence of the event.

Who do the Timberwolves play during NBA Rivals Week?

This season, the Minnesota Timberwolves are not slated to participate during NBA Rivals Week. This comes as a bit of a surprise after they matched up with a previous playoff opponent in the Grizzlies during Rivals Week last season.

Similarly, Memphis was also left off the Rivals Week slate for the 2023-24 season. It seems that the two small market teams will have to earn their way back into the event.

NBA Rivals Week schedule for the 2023-24 season:

Tuesday, January 23:

  • New York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets, 6:30 p.m. CT on TNT
  • Los Angeles Lakers at Los Angeles Clippers, 9 p.m. CT on TNT

Wednesday, January 24: 

  • Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs, 6:30 p.m. CT on ESPN
  • Phoenix Suns at Dallas Mavericks, 9 p.m. CT on ESPN

Thursday, January 25:

  • Boston Celtics at Miami Heat, 6:30 p.m. CT on TNT
  • Sacramento Kings at Golden State Warriors, 9 p.m. CT on TNT

Friday, January 26

  • Dallas Mavericks at Atlanta Hawks, 6 p.m. CT on NBA TV
  • Portland Trail Blazers at San Antonio Spurs, 8:30 p.m. CT on NBA TV

Saturday, January 27

  • Miami Heat at New York Knicks, 2 p.m. CT on ABC
  • Philadelphia Sixers at Denver Nuggets, 4:30 p.m. CT on ABC
  • Los Angeles Lakers at Golden State Warriors, 7:30 p.m. CT on ABC

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