Change will come into effect this season.
The NBA owners have voted unanimously to change the format of the Finals series with the 2-3-2 switching to 2-2-1-1-1 after 30 years.
The change will come into effect immediately for the 2014 Finals next spring, with commissioner David Stern insisting that he adds competitive balance.
In addition, in order to ease the transition an extra day off will be added between Games 6 and 7 as the outgoing official revealed that it was an “easy sell” with the owners.
“There’s been a sense among our teams that in a 2-2 series, it’s not fair for a team with the better record to be away [for Game 5],” Stern said after the league’s board of governors annual pre-season meeting according to ESPN.
“It’s not fair for the better team in terms of record to spend as many as eight days away from home.”
Stern led the change to last year’s format back in 1985, after then-Boston Celtics president Red Auerbach complained about the demands of travel after several Finals between his team and the Los Angeles Lakers.
With Stern set to hand over power to Adam Silver on February 1 next year, exactly 30 years to the day he became commissioner, one of his last significant acts will be to change the format back in order to appease growing frustration with current owners.
“It made sense to do it now,” Silver said. “Events came together over many years, and it reached a crescendo. The basketball people thought it was important, and the business people stood down and said it was no longer necessary.”
With a dinner dedicated to him on Tuesday night, there was a sense that the owners meeting was generally light-hearted and “used largely as an ode to Stern” according to ESPN.