The NBA All-Star Game: Let’s Break It and Rebuild It


Josiah Griego, Author

The NBA All-Star Game has reached its lowest point, and everything must break before it can be rebuilt. The game in Utah on Feb. 19 wasn’t only the worst one in recent memory; the players and the spectators both detested it. 

The notorious distinction of being the least-watched all-star game ever was attained by the 2023 edition. This year, fewer viewers tuned in than those who watch the Pro Bowl, which hardly anyone does. The truth is that the NBA has attempted to layer and improve the game repeatedly, and as a result, it is currently a complete mess. It’s not good when a player who scored 35 points during the game soon after complains about how awful the contest was. 

The entire weekend was a catastrophe. Players who were bare-bones sharpshooters competed in the three-point competition. There were a lot of unknown participants in the dunk competition. Then to top it all off, we had a confused, uncompetitive jumble where nobody knew who would be on whose team until just before the game when a live draft was held, softened so that reserves were chosen first to ensure that no one was left out. Everything was a massive snooze. 

A portion of the issue cannot be resolved. Elite players in every league have repeatedly shown that they don’t want to jeopardize their seasons by taking part in a mid-season exhibition game. Nobody wants to get hurt and jeopardize their chances of making the playoffs. The honor of being an NBA All-Star has completely faded away, and the game is a complete farce. What then can the NBA do to alter this match?

Even though the East-West rivalry is a thing of the past and peaked in the middle of the 1990s, the existence of two basketball conferences shouldn’t be disregarded.The drama of watching players fight all season long before being forced to get along during the all-star break was always there. Having Isaiah Thomas being forced to throw to Michael Jordan, or both Patrick Ewing and Shaq calling for the ball in the paint, was amazing. Every move had a deeper meaning, and the main goal was to stand for something rather than nothing. Now, everything has been so diluted as to be useless. 

There is no continuity from year to year in this entire experiment of selecting athletes and mixing them all together, and no one should feel obligated. Future teammates may as well network professionally during the all-star draft. 

Fan voting was created with the intention of generating interest from the public, yet nobody is interested. People are usually very irresponsible in the way they handle voting, selecting popular players over players who may be less popular but who are having a better season statistically. Certain fan bases enjoy filling up ballots with their votes, which demands the inclusion of strange weighting schemes for player-, media-, and coach-voting. Why make the effort of slavishly jury-rigging a system that nobody cares about? And, voting doesn’t transfer into people watching the game. 

Every all-star game has a problem with the absence of stakes. Home field advantage in the championship game has been proposed as a nice idea, similar to how MLB once operated, although some may argue that this would undermine a team’s efforts during the entire season. But we ought to do something with this. 

Giving to charity is simple. How about this: The NBA Shop offers discounted merchandise for the victors of the eastern and western conferences for a week after the game, and the MVP receives money to give to a charity of their choice. Pay back to the supporters and encourage their investment by offering a sizable discount on jerseys, hats, etc. Everyone cares when they have a stake in the outcome, so this would significantly increase public interest in the all-star game. Who wouldn’t want to score a cheap Giannis or LeBron jersey for their hard work in the victory? The supporters view these players as enormous heroes as a result.

I don’t want to stand by while this game withers away. There are way too many happy memories of watching all of the league’s top players on one court at once in the 1990s and 2000’s. Simply put, we need to stop using every dumb innovation that damages a wonderful format and get back to the fundamentals. 

The NBA must undoubtedly realize this as well and put a stop to the situation so that what occurred in Utah doesn’t happen again.