After an amazing Saturday night on the eve of the last day in the 2016 NBA All-Star weekend the only thing left to do was play out the All-Star game, or as most knew it – Kobe Bryant and the Western All-Stars vs. The East.
As the game tipped off we saw LeBron and Kobe jump for the ball for a bit of a laugh. From that point on it was pretty clear what was going to unfold.
Without going into a full breakdown lets just hit on some important notes of the game:
1. Typical ASG start: the game begun like all other all star games, as we saw some nice dunks and a fair amount of 3’s being put up and relaxed defense .
2. See number 1.
So this is the problem we now have to face? This is how the ASG is going to be played now?
In fairness, the eventual MVP Russel Westbrook did come out and play and so did Paul George for the East. But there performances were really non-factors due to the lack of competitiveness from all the other players involved.
I usually regard the NBA for having the best All-Star events and game out of all of the top american sports. However yesterdays game really soiled what was panning out to be one hell of a weekend.
By no means are we asking the players to bust their ass out there as if it was game 7 of the finals, but there has to be some compassion. The common format for these games is you have a warm-up and entertaining first half and then turn it up a bit in the second and for some reason this wasn’t the case.
I don’t want the ASG to go the way of the pro bowl that the NFL still decides to stupidly play. And again, its not too much of an ask and has been fine in the past ASG’s.
Perhaps the NBA needs to up the stakes of an ASG that would give the players a cause to win?
Maybe the selection process needs to be carefully monitored to avoid having too many players that are going away from their prime?
These are just some of the ways it can be changed and are not definitive answers. Most importantly its about the standard set by the historic players that have been apart of ASG’s and that pride that is known without having to be mentioned.
If the best players are on the court together on the same teams, for one day of the season, why not give the fans what we all expect to see?