Will New NBA All-Star Format Create A Better Product?
Improving The Intesity Of The NBA All-Star Game
Are They Even Trying Anymore?
The 2017 NBA all-star contest blew the doors off scoring records, with both teams combining for a total of 374 points. Sportsbooks set the over/under for this year at 332.5, requiring just over 166 points per team to beat the total. Tons of scoring seems like an ideal scenario for fans, but the oversaturation of buckets have riled many observers and alumni of the association.
Put simply, nobody wants to risk injury at the event. Every participant’s a top contributor for their squad, so any incident at the all-star game would be considered a senseless loss of a franchise-critical baller. As such, the idea of playing any type of tough defense goes out the window. Almost everybody gets out of the way when there’s potential for body contact.
Uncontested field goals often result in an uninspiring basketball match. Similar to players avoiding defensive commitment, most won’t exert too much effort when given an open lane, opting for an easy flush over a dunk worthy of sharing over social media. The occasional monster slam from Giannis over a prone Curry will entertain, but friction between offense and defense always produces the best version of any sport.
Anthony Davis earned all-star MVP in 2017 by hitting 26 of 39 field goal attempts, pouring 52 points through the bucket as the eastern conference were pleased to kick back and join the audience. Davis completed so many uncontested dunks that the President of the NBA Players Association decided that a change was needed.
Chris Paul’s Indomitable Competitive Spirit
“We need to fix this,” Chris Paul texted NBA commissioner Adam Silver, after the all-star game descended further into a complete lack of competition. As president of the National Basketball Player’s Association, Chris Paul initiated a dialogue with association stakeholders to find ways to fix the event. The new format of the game follows the NHL’s old method of creating all-star teams, reminiscent of schoolyard sports. “It shouldn’t be playoff intensity,” Adam Silver said. “But the guys should be playing.”
Instead of the typical clash between the eastern conference and the western conference, the leading vote getters from the east and the west would captain their own teams, playing GM by selecting the players from a pool of superstars participating in the event. The twist – captains can pick any player from either conference.
The most fascinating part of this experiment creates impossible player partnerships. Now LeBron and Durant may team up to form an unstoppable duo while Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo can combine their all-universe skills. This alone should renew interest for the 2018 version of the contest.
Unfortunately, the selection process was not televised due to a lack of agreement between parties, a change likely to take place next season. LeBron and Steph both tweeted about how much fun they had selecting their teams. As Stern said, playoff intensity isn’t needed, but team captains will feel responsible for the squads they’ve created, potentially raising the competitive spirit of the event.
Cash prizes and pride will also bump up the stakes a bit, because everybody loves money and confidence. The NBA’s come a long way since the 1953 all-star game, which featured a 79-75 win for the west, and George Mikan from the Minneapolis Lakers earning MVP. Perhaps the new format will rejuvenate the NBA’s best pickup game, creating a more competitive product.
Category : NBAMore articles...