By: Ross Weber, KCOU Sports
NBA All-Star weekend is a great event to celebrate the most talented players in basketball. From the Rising Stars Challenge to the festivities of Saturday night to the main showcase on Sunday, some of the best athletes in the world gather in one place to put on one of the best shows in basketball. In terms of All-Star events in professional leagues, the NBA rises above the NHL, and worlds above the NFL’s Pro Bowl, but it can still be improved upon. Here are just three simple ways to make the NBA All-Star weekend the best in all of sports.
•Let All-Stars take on all challengers. Reigning NBA MVP Kevin Durant has missed 27 games this season due to injury, but he is averaging 26 points and six rebounds per game while shooting 52% from the field. To the people who thought Durant should not have his All-Star spot, he said he could play them one on one for it.
Please, Adam Silver, let this happen.
Let anybody, from other NBAers who feel snubbed out of a spot, NBA legends who feel they’ve still got it, even random hopeless civilians who want to get their shot against some of the best basketball talent in the world. Thursday night before All-Star Weekend, let Durant or any All-Star who wants to put their spot on the line, take on any challengers to their spot. It would be arguably the best part of the weekend.
•Make sure every organization is represented. Something the MLB All-Star game does is have at least one player from each team is on the roster for the game. It can lead to a few undeserving All-Stars, but not many, and it also brings a draw for fans of all 30 teams to tune in to see a member of their club rub elbows with some of the game’s greats.
If the NBA were to put one player from every team on the All-Star game roster, it would be a really crowded locker room, so that isn’t the best way to go. The NBA should, however, make sure every organization has at least one player represented in one of the events of the weekend. It would be a small price to pay to make sure all 30 are represented, by maybe replacing one player in the Skills challenge, with another deserving player from another organization to help draw in the fans of that team.
In the 2015 festivities, only three teams were not represented: the Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets and Indiana Pacers. Trust me when I say it would have been nice to see maybe Marcus Smart, Gary Harris or Solomon Hill in the Rising Stars Challenge, or maybe Avery Bradley, Ty Lawson or George Hill in the Skills Challenge.
Those players are deserving representatives, and it would be nice to see the NBA represent all 30 organizations.
•Add more meaning to the game itself. The actual All-Star Game is a fun showcase of crazy athleticism, highflying plays, a lot of three pointers, and little-to-no defense whatsoever. Of course, it’s just an All-Star Game, and 100% effort on both sides of the ball like what happens in a real game or in the playoffs is just not possible.
But there hasn’t been a team that has scored under 138 points since 2009. 138 points is a massive amount for an NBA team. Making the All-Star game worth, maybe, NBA Finals home-court advantage would make things very interesting. Imagining LeBron James and Durant going back and forth in the final three minutes of the All-Star game with potential home-court in the Finals on the line would give me goose bumps. Those teams with legitimate Finals aspirations, like Cleveland and Oklahoma City this season, would love to be able to gain that advantage for themselves or their conference with a simple All-Star game win, and it would make the game a lot more exciting too.