Things you’ve heard before: NBA All-Star nitpicks

BY BRANDON J. SMITH, contributor

Can we all admit the Slam Dunk contest is a bloated waste of time at this point? It was a bit pathetic to see Derrick Williams attempt his between-the-legs-reverse-jam 15 times without success, which once again provides an opening to flood a pretend suggestion box with ideas.


It’s not that difficult, at all. Take a look at this HORSE competition between Bob McAdoo and Pistol Pete, you can tell that this exercise is actually fun and entertaining to all.

Why doesn’t the NBA do this? There’s nothing more thrilling than watching someone attempt a difficult shot, or in LeBron’s case, passing up for an easy assist. But seriously, let’s incorporate some schoolyard flair back into the weekend. It’s not as if the festivities are that bad to begin with, I don’t mind the skills competition, even if some guys don’t take it seriously (like Kyrie Irving from Cleveland, did you hear how irate Reggie Miller was when he slacked his way through it?), and the 3-point contest is the highlight of the weekend for me.

The only practical suggestion to improve the quality of the game itself is something that Charles Barkley mentioned on Inside the NBA recently: follow the NHL model and adopt team captains for each team that picks the starting lineup and roster. Hockey had Team Charo and whomever, basketball can have Team Kobe and Team Howard matching wits, that would be great yes? Yes. What makes that scenario even better is that since Kobe has an unquestioned desire to win, he would pick the guys he wants to go to war with, and act out his long lost fantasy with CP3 at point (not that this didn’t happen anyway).

Unlike NFL and arguably MLB, the NBA actually has an entire weekend devoted to celebrating the game, and allowing its players to show off their unheardled skills. The product they put out there is acceptable enough in terms of fan interest, but they could go a step further and it’s not even that difficult to implement.

Oh, and maybe not have your All-Star game the same night as The Walking Dead (sorry, Oscars) might be a good idea as well.

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