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OPINION: NBA All-Star Game Is Dead

OPINION: NBA All-Star Game Is Dead

OPINION: NBA All-Star Game Is Dead

OPINION: NBA All-Star Game Is Dead

The NBA All-Star Game this year set a record for the least-watched edition in NBA history as the ratings did very badly, which shouldn’t come as a shocker if you watched the game. Players, coaches, fans, and journalists were all not fans of this year’s game and many called it a glorified layup line.

Michael Malone said, “That’s the worst basketball game ever played…I don’t know if you can fix it”. Jaylen Brown said, “That’s not basketball”. Amongst the many quotes that could have been picked, these two are the most powerful because of how true they are.

The NBA All-Star Game is dead and it is going to start hurting the NBA; fans thought they were going to be entertained, especially after that impressive performance by Mac McClung, but they were disappointed once again.

Can the NBA do anything to save the All-Star Game?

Short answer? No. Why? Because it is a glorified layup line where the players have no will to compete and bring that fire to a once-amazing event. Even if commissioner Adam Silver adds incentives to the game, for example, a million dollars, these players wouldn’t play that hard for it.

The players playing in the game are the ones that are getting paid millions upon millions of dollars, like $20-$30 million per season, so they aren’t going to risk their bodies to make an easy million. Sadly, a million dollars (when looking at their contracts) isn’t much.

The All-Star Game is pathetic because players are scared to do an exhibition game with a lot of money on the table post their existing contract; which, in the grand scheme of things, has ruined the event and what players do if it isn’t related to their important games.

The money, to them, is more important than risking their bodies for the entertainment of fans that pay their hard-earned money to go to Utah to see them perform and/or sit at home and waste hours watching a sad event. Makes you think about how the players view the All-Star Game – the exception being the players that have spoken out about the All-Star Game.

The NBA now have to worry about the All-Star Game because their ratings are hitting record lows.

But, can the NBA still use the All-Star Weekend to its advantage?

It’s not only suffering from the effects of a poor All-Star Game, but they are also suffering from the effects of a poor weekend. Many fans weren’t impressed by the other events presented by the NBA from Friday to Sunday, the only plus to the weekend was Mac McClung – a player who has been in the NBA for a while but only played two games in his career.

The game is nonexistent and the dunk contest is becoming nonexistent. Nobody wants to watch a dunk contest where there are a bunch of nobodies, no disrespect intended toward McClung, dunking, and the fans can’t relate to them. If no superstars or well-known players are willing to participate, then why would fans want to tune in?

Ja Morant said a billion likes and he will participate, that’s his way of saying he isn’t participating – that’s just the type of player Ja Morant is. Again, no disrespect, but players make this game and fans have to be able to connect on some level.

Jericho Sims (Knicks), Trey Murphy III (Pelicans), Mac McClung (76ers), and KJ Martin (Rockets) are all players that fans aren’t jumping up and down for, and none that they can have a connection to as a fan. That’s a huge problem and it is going to kill the contest, no matter how well these performers perform.

My solution to the dunk contest?

My solution is very simple, y’all ready? For the NBA players that want to perform the NBA can put them on the sheet, but you go city to city and try to find the best dunkers that would perform some of the most incredible dunks America has ever saw.

For example, New York City has some incredible street dunkers that would get the fans motivated to watch and cheer them on. To entice the dunkers, pay them $100,000 dollars each to come and play. Or, do it this way: 1st place is $500,000, 2nd place is $350,000, 3rd place is $200,000, and 4th place is $100,000.

It is a win-win-win for the NBA, the street dunkers, and the fans. That is the only way to solve the dunk contest issue.

What’s the solution to the NBA All-Star Game?

The NBA gets rid of the All-Star Break completely and adds the mid-season tournament instead; which Silver and the NBA have been discussing for the past year or so. It would be something fresh and exciting for the fans, the NBA can benefit from the rating boost, and players have something new to play for with enticing incentives – maybe beyond money.

The All-Star Game and Weekend are dead, completely and utterly dead. This league needs something refreshing and innovative to spark interest from the fans and the players. The Weekend has been dying since 2020, it’s last known as the good weekend, and now the NBA is trying to survive with this multi-day event.

The sub-events can’t be better than the main event, fans are living proof of that right now. If the All-Star Game doesn’t get more competitive with a lot more intensity, then they need to scrap the weekend and make a mid-season tournament happen as soon as next season.

Conclusion: This year is living proof that things need to change

The NBA, in my opinion, needs to make adjustments or a complete rebuild of that break they give players. I believe it would be in their best interest to rebrand to make it more competitive, more thrilling, and refreshing for fans that want to watch something new and something that isn’t taking fans for granted.

The NBA All-Star Game is the ultimate issue that is the ultimate killer, then the dunk contest heading down the list. Once the NBA solves the issue then things will be smooth sailing. In the end, a mid-season tournament would be the best outcome and solution for the National Basketball Association.

I’m a huge critic of the All-Star Game and weekend, and I hope to see massive changes come next season and beyond. If the players aren’t engaged and taking it seriously, then why expect fans to be engaged and entertained?

It’s time fans saw something different and this year has proven that theory exponentially.

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