June 14, 2024

What Needs to Change About the NBA All-Star Game?

Over the past couple of years, we have seen a lot of changes to the NBA All-Star Game. Just this last year, the NBA switched back to a traditional East versus West format. In 2020, the All-Star Game was adjusted to a new format in remembrance of the late Kobe Bryant. Then in 2017, they changed it so each team had captains that would draft the teams. It is not uncommon for the NBA to experiment and switch up the All-Star Game, but after the 2024 NBA All-Star Game in Indianapolis, something needs to change about how the game is being played.

For the last few years, it has been obvious that the NBA players have not taken the All-Star Game very seriously. This event occurs during a weekend intended to be a break from the long, regular season. It is also a time to provide more entertainment for the fans, as they get to see their favorite players face off against one another. Since the All-Star Game was created, people have always looked forward to seeing what would happen if you had the best 12 players in the NBA face-off against one another. At the same time, these NBA superstars get a chance to show off their talents a little bit more, while also providing quality entertainment for NBA fans all around the world. This is why this most recent NBA All-Star Game was so controversial for a lot of people. It was evident that the players did not really want to be at this game whatsoever. There was absolutely no defense being played, people were throwing the basketball of the backboard to try and dunk constantly, and tons of half court shots were being taken. It was not a fun game to watch as there was no competitiveness found in the game whatsoever. NBA commissioner Adam Silver even admitted to this, as when he was asked about the NBA All-Star Game, he said, “I just think maybe we’re past that point where we’re going to play a truly competitive game.”

Now, I get it that these NBA players want a break, or that they do not want to risk getting injured in a game that contributes nothing to the NBA regular season or the playoffs; but when you have a game where the Eastern Conference beats the Western conference with a final score of 211-186, there are changes that need to be made. Lots of NBA fans have suggested changing the format to something resembling the NBA Rising Stars Game. This would mean adopting a USA team versus the World team. While this could be interesting, it would be quite difficult to pull off, despite the incredible amount of international talent that has come into the NBA recently. Others have suggested including a cash prize pool for the NBA team that wins the game, but this would also prove quite challenging, as that would be quite an expensive investment by the NBA. In my opinion, the only thing that will change the NBA All-Star Game to being more competitive is the right kind of players. There must be players who want to be a little bit more competitive, and who do not want to adopt the form of play that has been going on for the past couple of years. Another idea is that whatever team wins, the NBA will donate a certain amount of money to a charity of their choice. While this does not resolve all the problems with the NBA All-Star Game, it is one idea that could be expanded upon. Who knows where the NBA All-Star Game will be in five to ten years, but we can only hope that something about the game changes soon.

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