NBA All Star weekend is a spectacle. It is not serious basketball but a chance for the chosen players to show off and have some fun.
There are a lot of complaints about All Star – the way the players are selected, the lack of defence in the All Star game. But I think a lot of the complaints miss the point.
The NBA is home to some of the best basketball players in the world and while I can understand the arguement that players should be selected for All Star based on their skills, not their popularity, this is a sales opportunity for the NBA and they want the highest sales possible.
I would watch pretty much any game of basketball so it almost does not matter to me who is selected for the game but for many people they only want to see their favourite players from different teams go against each other (or with each other). And why not? When else would you get to see that?
A lot is said of the fact that defence is an after thought in the All Star game as the players focus on flashy dunks and lay ups. But in the last few years I have seen some amazing defensive plays during All Star games and this year was no exception.
My only real complaint about All Star weekend is the entertainment. The mascots and cheerleaders are part of regular season NBA games and they do provide some light relief during stoppages in play. However this year’s All Star Staurday night featured a reduced line up of events with an increase in on court entertainment. I was not the only person getting bored of this, I could hear people around me complaining. I don’t go to All Star so I can see kids dance groups or other performers from teams that aren’t even the host. It almost felt on the Saturday that the NBA was more concerned with promoting performers from around the league than players from around the league.
Please NBA bring back the four event line up on the Satuday night and leave some of the acts at home.
The other odd thing about All Star weekend this year was the choice of half time entertainment. I don’t know what the thought process was behind Sting but he is not exactly the musical choice of your typical NBA fan. During half time a lot of fans left their seat or started playing with their phones. Very few were paying any attention to the man on stage. This is in contrast to other year’s where the fans have definitely watched the show.
I don’t go to All Star for the half time show but if the NBA really wants to entertain for the whole evening they need to put more thought in to the choice of performers.
Next year All Star is in North Carolina. I’m already looking forward to how they are going to beat this year’s dunk contest.