Let’s be honest out: of all the professional sports, the NBA has THE best all-star weekend. The celebs flock to it, the groupies are plentiful and because the game is inside, any city can reasonably host it. Also, with the variety of events, there is really something for anyone who enjoys the game. That being said, there are a few glaring warts on an otherwise perfect series of events.
Kill the Fan Vote
I’m sorry, I know that the league is trying to be as fan friendly as possible and there are mega-bucks in encouraging as much fan involvement as possible, but let’s use this year’s biggest error as an example. Kobe Bryant had no business being elected to the game. You knew it, and as shown by his gracefully bowing out, he knew it. Think about that, one of the most record-conscious, competitive and over all biggest lovers of the game ever took HIMSELF out of a game that the fans had voted him into.
How to fix it:
Simple you know those guys who vote for all the post season awards? Those guys who draft all the players? Those guys who coach all the games? The guys who actually PLAY the game? Let’s let them choose, problem solved.
Do away with Conference alignment
This year’s Eastern Conference is the Heat, The Pacers, and people who are either Riggin for Wiggins, Sorry for Jabari or trying to Concede for Embiid. Granted the East has the best two way players in George, James and Hibbert, but the defense in this game has traditionally been suspect at best so that doesn’t matter much and the scoring firepower on the West is unparalleled. This is probably going to lead to a lopsided affair that is no longer competitive in the 4th quarter
How to Fix it:
Steal an idea from the Pro Bowl, which generated more interest than ever due to a fantasy draft scenario. Let the coaches pick players one by one and go from there. This opens up the possibility of players from the same team dueling it out for us all to see, and just as scintillating gives us the opportunity to see players a lineup featuring the previously impossible cross conference combinations of Lebron and Durant taking on Chris Paul and D Wade.
There are a ton of players in the NBA who seemingly get left out in the cold during the All Star weekend, lets toss them in a few fun events and get everyone involved and have more than a few watchable things each time out.
How to Fix it:
Tell me you wouldn’t watch NBA players playing HORSE, or a Two on Two tournament that lets players pick their own teams. Horse would be fun because there is no accounting for how famous a player is. Imagine an end of the bench guy who has perfected a shot none of the All NBA team can hit. As for Two on Two, it would give us insight into who actually trusts/likes/respects who. What if Lebron chose Stef Curry over Dwade? What if Kobe chose Kevin Love and just asked him to rebound and kick out any misses?
While the celeb game is entertaining there are still more matchups I would rather see than Nick Cannon vs Kevin Hart.
How to Fix it:
Ever wonder what University produced the best NBA players? Why not get any of them you could together for a game. Imagine a Cousins-Davis Kansas front line against Love-Westbrook Ucla tandem? Or what about having a Legends game for the old timers who have kept themselves in shape? Anyone who wouldn’t want to see Jordan hit a couple tongue wagging fade away on a grimacing Charles Barkley one more time isn’t human.
Increase the stakes
You know why there isn’t much defense played in this game? Because aside from bigger win bonuses, there is only pride on the line. For guys who are already rich and have already achieved a lot this isn’t sufficient motivation.
How to Fix it:
Steal baseball’s idea of giving the winning conference Home Court in the playoffs. Surely this has to make more sense than giving the team who manages to dominate an inferior conference more roundly the best seed, maybe the winning conference’s teams get a couple bonus lottery balls as well for the non-playoff teams.
Kyle Robinson is by day a not-so mild mannered drone for one of the world’s largest tech companies, by night he’s a sports enthusiast/wrestling smark/videogame geek/travel nut/chicken connoisseur/ comic book nerd and self- proclaimed “hopefully non-threatening black man”. Follow him at here for tweets that he hopes get more RTs, because that’s how he validates his existence.
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