Hey now, you’re an all-star, get your game on, go play
March 7, 2017
“He’s heating up! He’s on fire! Boomshakalaka!” In an NBA All-Star Game with 374 points, no defense and practically no excitement, I wish I would’ve spent that wasted time playing NBA Jam, throwing down massive dunks with bobblehead Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan. I bet I would’ve had more fun than watching Anthony Davis score 52 uncontested points.
The gathering of the NBA’s greatest talents all on the same court would hopefully bring a competitive atmosphere, but what we see, however, is quite the contrary. Scores are increasing year after year, and my attention span to watch games is becoming shorter and shorter. The average score of the NBA All-Star Game has increased 18 percent since 2000. That may not seem like a large figure, but that is an additional 30 more points per team. As well, scores in recent history are running the scoreboard out of digits. The four games since 2014 have all broken the record for most points scored in an NBA All-Star Game.
My frustrations, not only with the NBA All-Star Game, but with all professional sports All-Star Games, boil down to a few key issues. To start, professional athletes aren’t held accountable for having any sort of competitiveness. Players don’t want to get injured mid season, so they already have the mindset to coast and not try hard.
Next, the games have absolutely zero meaning. The MLB All-Star Game at least, up until this season, was played with the winner receiving home field advantage during the World Series. That doesn’t amount to much, but giving it some meaning is better than none.
As a change, leagues began offering cash prizes to the winning team, in my opinion to hopefully try and bring more intensity. Sadly, $35,000 for winning the NBA All-Star Game is merely pocket change to just about everyone who steps on the court. With the MLB’s new changes of moving the All-Star Game away from deciding home field advantage, both the MLB and the NHL are moving toward cash prizes to the winners.
It’s sad to see that money needs to be paid out to the best athletes in the world to compete against each other due to lack of effort. I understand fear of injury is a large deterrent, but only once a year do we see the greatest talents compete on the same court, ice, or field. Our excitement to see them play should be matched by an exciting, watchable game… with defense.