While watching the NBA All Star game Sunday night, social media was full of people and media types complaining about the event.
In reality, All Star Saturday night needs a major overhaul, but the actual All Star game is the best showcase exhibition of the major sports.
That said, I should not be able to order a pizza online at the beginning of the player introductions and have it delivered before the game actually starts, but the seemingly endless pregame concert by someone I have never heard of and player introductions is about who the NBA is targeting.
I have been to three NBA All Star Games and two MLB All Star Games. As for actual games, the NBA, like regular season games, gets really good in the fourth quarter. You have the best of the best and they get competitive – makes it fun to watch and at least David Stern has not put home court advantage up for grabs in an exhibition game.
And that is exactly what it is, an exhibition game. Seeing the best of the best compete with and against each other and at times do things they can’t (or won’t) do in a regular season game. As a fan of the NBA, it is entertaining, and that is what it is meant to do.
To me the NBA All Star game is still fun because you get to see the stars, which is why the Saturday night festivities are dying a slow and painful death. The Slam Dunk contest used to be the highlight of the weekend – in reality we saw better dunks in the actual game.
I must confess, I did not watch any of the Saturday night events – I opted for the new Die Hard movie with my daughter. Why? Without the star power, it is not must see. I want to see LeBron and Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin try to outdo each other. All the other events are nice, but we as fans want to see the stars in the dunk contest.
The NFL commish threatened to cancel the Pro Bowl if the game was not more competitive. He realized as strong as the NFL is, as a TV product and brand, he has to deliver what the fans want to his TV partners to deliver the ratings.
The NBA needs to take note of what the NFL did – force the stars to compete. By not competing, those star players protect their individual brand at the detriment to the NBA brand.