Despite the outcry from players, the NBA is not only pushing ahead with plans for the All-Star Game — it’s all about the money — but the plans for the dunk contest (maybe during halftime) and the skills competition are moving ahead as well.
With the All-Star Game, the players are voted in/selected by the coaches and, if healthy, have to show up. However, for the dunk contest and skills competition, players are invited and have to accept. It may prove difficult to get the players they want, as those players may choose rest and time off over competing.
Who does the NBA want? For the skills competition, the league wants LaMelo Ball, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on NBA Countdown over the weekend (hat tip Real GM).
“I’m told that one player the league would really like to get involved in that skills competition, is the Rookie of the Year favorite right now, Charlotte’s LaMelo Ball,” said Wojnarowski.
Ball is both skilled and draws a lot of eyeballs, of course the NBA wants him to participate.
Ball is averaging 14.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 6.1 assists a game — all leading among rookies this season — and is starting now for a feisty Hornets team looking to make the play-in games and playoffs in the East. LaMelo leads all rookies in minutes played, and he’s shooting 35.4% from three.
He would make a good addition to the skills challenge. The question is, does he want to do it?