It's official. I'm no longer a fan of the All-Star game, and you know what? It's not really anyone's fault, although there are a few theories that I'm going to run past the people. First off, there's nothing BAD, per say about the game itself, or the pageantry of it all. The NBA puts on quite a show for the weekend with celeb events, a rapidly improving Saturday night, and the all-encompassing All- Star game on Sunday. As the years have passed, the Sunday affair has taken a backseat for me in terms of “stop and drop” sporting events. Full disclosure, the game will be on my TV, but there won't be any undivided attention paid to it. Call it background noise if you will while I podcast, or I just won’t pay attention to the game in general.
I feel conflicted about this because this is one of those deals where you get the rare chance to see the NBAs best on one court. Except for one thing, I see these players on a weekly basis. In the Leagues attempt to expand its product and reach their arc, NBA games are on TV EVERYDAY of the week and this is even without mentioning NBA League Pass. There are Monday, Tuesday, Saturday, and in some cases Sunday games on NBA TV. And if those 4 days aren't enough, tack on extra doubleheaders on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday on ESPN and TNT respectively. That's 10-14 games on basic cable a week where I see all the stars play their craft.
The All-Star Game has now taken on a weird persona for me. Also, it's kind of boring if you really think about it. One side jumps out to a huge (15-20 point) lead and await the other sides’ furious comeback. There's really no need to tune in until the 4th quarter when the comeback actually happens. There's also some defense actually played here contrary to popular belief, although at times it’s just a periodic one on one pissing contest that usually involves Kobe. This leads to the 721 solution: Turn the All-Star Game into a collection of 3 on 3 tournaments. Now before you go all sensitive thug on me, read on. If all of you want to continue to sell this as an event for the fans and their votes, then stay as is. However, with Adam "Let's Gamble on Sports" Silver at the helm, it's now time for some high level tweaking with the All-Star game, and if you look at it there's already some experimental events scheduled on Saturday night.
The annual rising stars challenge has been tweaked to now pit US 1st and 2nd year players vs. Non-US players. I like this! It also took me a minute to think of 12 non-US players but they have them and that'll be interesting. The best shooters have entered the 3 point contest this year. The All-Star Skills competition is pretty good as well, which brings us to the Dunk contest and back to the game itself.
With the explosion of Internet videos to the point where EVERYTHING IS on video, the dunk contest has been minimized because for the most part WE'VE SEEN EVERY DUNK OUT THERE. YouTube, Vine, and Instagram have opened up the world to a shit ton of dunkers that are both athletic and creative. Beyond some red tape waiver mumbo jumbo, what's stopping the NBA from taking 2 guys off the street, 2 D-League guys, and 2 NBA guys and let them have at it? It would elevate some of the non-NBA guys profile and force the NBA guys to get their dunk game right.
Lastly, now let’s get to the game. As I've stated before the game is boring. Let's turn it into a 3 on 3 affair. If we are going to keep the fans voting format the same (which I'm against) then those that are voted in need to have 4 captains and a have 3 on 3 tournaments. Make it half court, and first to 10 wins. I'd watch that for 5 or 6 hours. Winners check goes to charity. While I'm at it, bring back HORSE for All-Star weekend. You're in New York that weekend. That's 2 NBA certified arenas to do all this in. If y'all like the All-Star Game as is keep on. But, you should listen to the 721 because you know I'm right.
Born in Dayton, Ohio but raised in Dallas. D.A. is no pushover