Show the draft!
That’s how I feel about the new NBA All-Star Game format. I like that the league is trying to shake things up.
The All-Star Game is a whole bunch of dunks, threes and not a lick of defense. People want to see a more competitive game than last season’s 192-182 circus act win for the Western Conference, its third in a row and seventh victory in the last nine years.
So how did NBA commissioner Adam Silver solve the competitive-balance discrepancy?
He took the game’s top vote-getters, LeBron James and Stephen Curry, and had them take turns picking the remaining All-Star selectees, regardless of what conference they play in.
The prize money for the winning team was also increased to $100,000 per roster member, incentivizing a more competitive game.
For all that, I give NBA commissioner Adam Silver a solid ‘A’ for his effort to create a more entertaining All-Star Weekend. There’s just one problem.
The draft with LeBron and Steph was never televised!
For that, I have to adjust his final grade to a ‘C’, and that’s being generous.
Some people have argued that the draft shouldn’t be shown so that the players who get picked last will have their identities protected. Seriously?
I’ll say it again. Seriously?!
It’s not like the actual draft order won’t come out eventually. In fact, there are reports that big men Al Horford and LaMarcus Aldridge, who have a total of 11 All-Star appearances between them, were the last two picks in this year’s pickup-style draft.
“I’m not a flashy player,” Aldridge said. “That’s OK.”
See? That’s OK.
It’s alright to be last of the 24 All-Star picks (28 if you count the four players who were replaced due to injuries after the initial list was released) because there are 400-plus other NBA players — all of whom are among the world’s best at the game of basketball — that didn’t make the cut.
Honestly, are these guys’ egos so fragile that they can’t handle the general public knowing that they weren’t a top pick? To me, this is where the “prove ‘em” mindset comes in handy. Get picked first? Prove ‘em right. Get picked last? Prove ‘em wrong.
Aside from that, I want to see the players’ reactions as it happens. I want to see Kyrie Irving’s face as he is selected by former teammate LeBron James. I want to see how Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant react when James picks both of the former OKC teammates.
Please, oh please, I just want to see the draft.
Let me know, Mr. Silver.