Should NBA Change All-Star Game?
Every year, the best players in the NBA gather for the league’s annual NBA All-Star Game, and every year the same argument breaks out as a result. Some basketball fans love the All-Star Game as it is, while others want to see changes to it that make the game more competitive. But would changing the NBA’s midseason showcase event be a good idea, or is it just a case of fans wanting to see short term change that doesn’t make long term sense?
NBA All-Star Game Concerns
There are several concerns that fans have about the NBA All-Star Game, but one rings out louder than the rest, and is the one that we will focus on here. That concern is that the players who participate in the game do not play defense as vigorously as they should be, which they argue makes for both a worse game to watch as well as a game that doesn’t contain the excitement that a collection of the best basketball players on the planet should.
The desire for defense in the NBA All-Star Game is a valid one, as seeing all of the best players in the NBA giving it their all in one competitive game would be a lot of fun to watch. However, there are issues with that idea that could very well make it impractical to put into practice and actively hurt the game over the course of the remainder of the regular season and the postseason to the point that it’s doubtful that a change like that would ever be made.
Why NBA Won’t Change The Game
There is one glaring reason that the NBA and its players won’t make any changes to the way the NBA All-Star Game is played, and that reason is that the health of its players is more important than the entertainment value of an All-Star Game. The impact of the All-Star Game is nonexistent in the eyes of players, teams, and the league itself, while we all know that wins and losses in the regular season and playoffs are what really matter to everyone involved.
Now, hypothetically, let’s say that the NBA and its all-stars decided that they were going to take the NBA All-Star Game very seriously. They agreed to play defense for all four quarters, and didn’t allow the easy dunks and wide open threes that make the game what it is as currently constructed. Now, let’s hypothetically assume that back-to-back NBA All-Star Game most valuable player Russell Westbrook got hurt while playing tough defense in that game, and the repercussions that it would have on his team, his career, and the rest of the league.
The Oklahoma City Thunder would be upset about Westbrook getting hurt in a game that had no meaning. Russell Westbrook would have a shorter and less lucrative career. Meanwhile, the loss of Westbrook would make the NBA a worse product. There is nothing that makes the NBA All-Star Game worth that risk, and that’s why it should stay the way it is now.
By: Jason M. Sanin