Ah All Star Sunday, the centrepiece in the NBA All Star showcase. The best players in the NBA this season as voted by fans, players and coaches.
In an attempt to introduce more competitiveness the NBA have moved from the East v West format to an old school captains pick their teams format. For the NBA this is a great move. It generates more media attention, they can televise the draft night and they can sell jump shirts in two different colours (as the jump shirts go on sale before the teams are finalised). The teams compete for charity to incentivise them.
However, we still end up with comically large score, defence feels like a token gesture and the players like to show off no-look passes and trick shots. Yes it is entertaining but it’s not exactly a basketball game.
This year featured some Steph Curry dunks (and some Steph Curry 3s), an Alley Oop between D Wade and LBJ, and Dirk Nowitzki with a smile that showed how much he was loving being there. Watching Steph on a different team from his GSW teammates KD and Klay Thomson was not just entertaining but potentially a taster of what will come next season given their impending free agencies.
I’ve been attending All Star for 5 years now, and the new format hasn’t really changes much. If you want to see some top NBA players have fun and show off the NBA All Star is a great game. If you want to see a really competitive game of basketball this is not the game for you.