By Nehemy Manigat, Senior
The NBA All-Star weekend is arguably one of the most star studded sports events of the year. The most anticipated event of the entire weekend has to be the All-Star game. In this game the top 24 players in the NBA get on two teams and go head to head. From the very beginning the All-Star game was set up for the 12 best players in the Western Conference to go against the 12 best players in the Eastern Conference. In the earlier years the All-Star game was extremely competitive and very rarely did a team score more than 140+ points. When the games did surpass 150 points, however, the games were tight and blood rushing. Outside of the Finals if you had to watch a basketball game it would be this one. The biggest problem with the old All-Star games was that certain players would intentionally injure others in order to end their seasons and make their teams regress.
As the big names of the NBA began to change so did the All-Star game. When names such as Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Paul who became the faces of the league the level of competition in the game seemed to take a hit. The lack of competition was linked with a lack of defence. The players reasoning for their lack of defensive effort was because they did not want to get injured. According to Basketball Reference, from 2007 to today at least one of the All-Star teams has surpassed 140 points for all but one year. The fans of the league really began to complain after the 2014 All-Star game. In that game the combined number of points scored was 318 and since that year the number of total points scored has only increased.
With the fans demanding change, NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver tweaked the format of the All-Star game. The biggest change was that now the teams would not be East versus West. The fans, players, and NBA executives would select the 12 best players from each conference and have two team captains choose their teams. The two players from each conference with the most total votes would be named the captains of each team. As an extra incentive to win the Commissioner of the NBA has promised $100,000 to each player on the winning team with a $350,000 donation to a charity chosen by the captain, whereas those on the losing team would get $25,000 each and only $150,000 donated to the captain’s charity.
The new format seemed to have an impact on the outcome of the game. The final score was (Team Lebron)148-(Team Steph)145. The game ended with an amazing defensive play by team captain Lebron James and number one overall pick Kevin Durant. The style of basketball being played was beautiful with both teams having nine players score in the double digits. The MVP of the game was of course Lebron putting up a casual 29-10-8 with 4 three pointers. Other notable performances were Damian Lillard with 21 points off the bench and Russell Westbrooks with a near triple-double.
Needless to say the new format of the All-Star game seems to work and is here to stay. Next year to evolve the event there will be a live televised draft of the team. All NBA fans are definitely looking forward to what will become of All-Star game in the future.
“NBA & ABA All-Star Game Stats and History.” Basketball-Reference.com, Sports Reference LLC,