Back in the day I remember I would get as hyped over All Star Weekend as I would the start of the playoffs. I grew up loving the NBA during a time that saw MJ, Larry, and Magic transcend the league into a global phenomenon. If you were a true fan of the game you looked forward to seeing if Larry Legend could win the 3 point shootout again or wait in anticipation on the next dunk MJ was going to perform to outscore Dominique. The game itself while there was no defense even back then was still far more competitive in terms of effort in spite of what the scoreboard said at the end. Now the latest experiment has the NBA taking a page out of the NFL’s Pro Bowl format by having the two leading vote getters pick their own teams. The All Star Festivities feel so diluted that even now the die-hard NBA fan in me will still tune in HOPING they win me over. The formula the NBA is using now where they feel more is what fans want has me asking myself why they had to fuck something up that wasn’t broken?
I could have attached this piece with tons of clips from the All Star Games of years past, but considering there were so many good ones to choose from I decided on the three shown above. Tell me that the game has changed or that I’m old if you all want. THESE WERE COMPETITIVE GAMES!! The games of today are so high scoring partly due to the fact that supposedly fans don’t want to see a boring game. Look at last year’s game which was won by the West saw both teams combine for 374 points! I’m hoping the format is a hit for fans I really do. If it shoots an airball though the NBA should consider perhaps following MLB’s format where the winner will have homecourt advantage in the NBA Finals to give both squads the incentive to play for something that matters. Watch the NBA go to a special ball for the game that lights up when you shoot it as their next big idea…….OH GOD!!! If the voice of the fan still matters to this league, to this game why not asks fans what they like or don’t like, how the All Star experience could be even better. If I got a vote I would also ask to cut out half of their festivities for the sake of reinvigorating the value of the event. The events I would prefer for the league to focus on are the Rising Stars game, 3 Point Contest, and of course the Slam Dunk. Everything else feels like extra lettuce, tomato on the burger.
The only gripe I have regarding the 3 Point Shootout as well as the Slam Dunk is it doesn’t seem to get as widely promoted as it would in the past. It doesn’t help the league’s biggest stars don’t want to participate in neither anymore. It makes you wonder to yourself how bland the commercials for All Star Weekend are. What sounds better to an NBA fan……Lebron James in the Slam Dunk or Victor Oladipo? Fans back then were guaranteed that their favorite stars would participate in at least one of the major events on Saturday night.
All I know is the NBA better get their shit together with their overall product including these All Star Game festivities ASAP. Right now with the popularity in the NFL dwindling a little should only push them to keep their product in pristine condition. That small percentage of fans the NFL is losing is primed for another league to come and gobble them up. All the leagues including the newly reformed XFL will be looking to add new viewers even if it means taking them away from their competitors. You’ve been warned NBA listen to YYS or else like Vince Carter said in this clip…………………….