How to fix the all-star weekend
For years now, we have seen The NBA All-Star Weekend go from a celebration of the game and its stars into little more than a circus, with the serious fans turning away because of the sheer stupidity. How can the league fix it and restore the pride and tradition to the weekend? Let’s go through each event and offer some suggestions to make it authentic again and create moments where people will be talking glowingly about the weekend for years and years.
- Celebrity Game: This isn’t too bad of an event, and if anything should be kept purely for its entertainment value, it’s this. It’s a nice introduction to the weekend. I would keep it around, but just don’t allow that douchebag Justin Bieber to play in it again (Unless if he’s getting rejected by Pippen. God bless you, Scottie.)
- Rising Stars Challenge: This one made me think, because it has to stay, but it’s also evolved into a disgrace. I honestly see better defence in the WNBA because there is a big fat ZERO care factor. Let’s change that. Let’s make it that the MVP is added to the pool of players for the actual All Star game (I guess I just gave away my idea for that event). And on top of that, let’s make it that a Hall of Famer gets to pick choose MVP. As for the losing team, make them run suicides as punishments, just like in practice. That’ll make them play hard.
- D-League Friday Night Events: These have to be kept, but put them on centre stage! Don’t hide them away on the practice courts. If they make the NBA events look bad, maybe, just maybe, that’s a sign that the products that you’re showcasing isn’t a high quality. Fans aren’t idiots, and if the NBA players are embarrassed, then so be it. This should be a wakeup call for them to actually put some effort into their events. And each winner in the D-League event should be given a spot in the NBA event as well to compete with the big boys.
- D-League All-Star Game: Once again, put this in the main stadium. If you’re, as a league, trying to promote the D-League, how about showcasing it properly? And like the Rising stars challenge, give the MVP of this game a spot in the All-Star game. These guys are hungry, can you imagine how badly they’ll go after this. The other alternative is to shorten the rosters for this game and the rising stars challenge and make them play each other. Wouldn’t that be fun, watching the rookies getting shown up by players that are desperate to make the NBA? I think I’m actually starting to like that idea more.
- Shooting Stars Challenge: I like this concept a lot, especially the retired player aspect, but I think it’s time to go. These guys (and girl) are just shooting jumpers. The only exciting part is when they’re jacking it up from half-court.
- Skills Challenge: This event should only stay if they make it themed each year. So one year, it’s only big men (oh god, imagine Dwight Howard or Roy Hibbert trying to dribble up the court). Or another year, former MVP’s. Or another year it can be retired Hall of Famers. Surely that would add some excitement to an event that’s only memorable moments have been when players have missed the opening layup)
- 3 Point Shootout: This event is an example of how when something is good, DON’T CHANGE IT. My God, it’s not rocket science. The old days of the split screen in the opening round was perfect. Go back to how it was, and have the winner from the D-League event also compete.
- Slam Dunk Contest: Just like the shootout, the old way was the best. The fan voting is atrocious, get rid of it immediately. It’s too heavily influenced by the commentary. DWIGHT HOWARD THREW IT IN! AND HE’S WEARING A CAPE! HE’S THE GREATEST! HE’S SUPERMAN! VOTE FOR HIM!!! No. Just stop it. Let the judges decide. If fan voting is an absolute must, then let the fan vote count for one vote. But bring back the legends and past winners to decide this. This event used to mean something because it was awarded based off merit, not hype. Now it’s virtually like a WWE event, and that’s why people don’t care anymore. Or you can continue bringing out Choirs for Blake Griffin to jump over the hood of a car, it’s your choice.
- All- Star Game: Ok, I kind of gave away my idea (and it’s not my idea at all, but it needs to be implemented) for the All- Star game. Have the players placed in a pool and two captains select their rosters, yada yada yada, we know that. But please, for the love of basketball, copy the NFL and have two legends be the captains! Imagine for a second, Michael Jordan and Larry Bird as captains. And make them have a contest as to who picks first, whether it’s one on one, H-0-R-S-E, a FT shooting contest, I don’t care, just make it happen! Can you picture if MJ has the first pick, and selects Kobe over Lebron? And Bird takes Lebron, and Jordan then selects his teammate, D-Wade? Oh sweet lord, are you telling me you wouldn’t watch this? Also, MVP gets a million. Players on the winning team get 100k. Losing team gets nothing, so winners literally take all. Think about this, Jordan’s team is up by one, Bird’s team has the ball with 11 seconds left. Lebron is guarded by Kobe. Can you picture the in intensity on the court at that point? Bragging rights and trash talking are all on the line in this one possession. And oh yeah, $1 000,000 as well. How has this not been thought of before (and if it has, how has it not been implemented?!) Someone really needs to submit this to the league office.