Starting this February, the NBA is trying to put a spark into the NBA All-Star Game. No more East vs. West, instead they go playground style with the top vote-getters in each conference acting as captains who will select the rest of the team from the All-Star pool (starters voted in by fans/players/media, the reserves picked by the coaches). The teams will now play for charity.
“I don’t see it as a bad idea. We had to do something. The All-Star Game has been pretty bad the last couple years just from a competition standpoint. Trying to switch it up. Just like how the dunk contest was at one point it was great, then it wasn’t so well, so they had to kind of switch it up. Then it got good, then it got bad and you switch it up again. You see what happens. It’s hard to say if it’s good or bad yet. We haven’t done it yet. February isn’t here yet so no one knows how good or how bad it’s going to be. But I like the change. Why not?”
Exactly, why not? LeBron is right, the All-Star Game itself the past couple of years (and, frankly, longer but it has gotten worse) has been tedious at best. Not that anybody is expecting NBA Finals level of play, but guys try harder on defense at my weekly pickup games — and we’re not there to play defense. The league needed to try something, it partnered with Chris Paul and the players’ union to come up with this, and it’s not a bad idea.
It will be way better if the league turns the picking of players into some kind of show — on TNT before a game, or at least on Twitter with the captains (probably LeBron and Kevin Durant or Curry) going back and forth. Make it really schoolyard (and suck for the guy picked last).
But at least this is something, as LeBron noted. If this doesn’t work, then try something else, but at least don’t just keep doing what no longer works.