I will start this by saying that the NBA All Star game (and weekend by extension ) is the best in all professional sports. And by professional sports, I mean NBA, NFL & MLB. None of you have watched the NHL all star game, so let’s not pretend that it matters for this little exercise. Agreed? Good!
People complain about the NBA All star game every year, well because I am convinced that people just like to complain. When you compare it to the other professional sports, it was always light years ahead. NFL, they have to beg their players to actually participate. And once they show up, the action is similar to watching an 8u spring flag football game. MLB? The commissioner had to literally attach the outcome of the game to home field advantage of the World Series (which was idiotic of itself).
The NBA has had the same formula for years. The first 3 quarters, alley-oops, crossovers, matador defense, fast paced fun. The 4th quarter, they strap up the way you would assume a senator does when sleeping with his mistress. And you know what? I was fine with that formula. I don’t need to see game 7 of the NBA finals, I just wanted good ball with the best players in the world.
Sorry, I just needed to get that off my chest and get that out of the way first.
With that said. This format was definitely dope.
Each quarter ended with a sense of urgency. The players played hard throughout the night and the 4th quarter had a level of playoff intensity to it. Kudos to everyone involved in implementing this change. It is obviously a shame that it took Kobe Bryant’s death to spur this change, but maybe there is a fraction of solace that something positive came out of it. Also a very nice touch to name the All-Star MVP award after him. I thought all of the calls to retire his number(s) league wide and to change the NBA logo to his likeness were a bit emotional and rash. He is an all time great. (About 11 or 12 in my book if you ask me, and I don’t know if you did ask me, but it is my article anyway, and you are still here reading). The All Star MVP was a great decision.
Common gave probably the dopest introduction ever in All Star Game or professional sports history (sorry The Rock). The whole thing had a real Chicago Vibe, the city did a great job. Would of been nice for Kanye to take part.. but he is too unpredictable. It’s not even that he is batshit crazy, Adam Silver could probably deal with that. It’s the fact that you have zero effing idea what would come out of his mouth on stage. But they did a good job by incorporating him w/ his instrumentals. The rest of the game was great too…… except for whatever Chaka Khan called herself doing. The past couple of NBA All Star national anthems have been rough..
let’s not forget this tragedy last year:
BUT at least it gave us this gem:
- Chris Paul catching an oop shocked the hell out of everyone.
- Giannis is unstoppable….. until the 4th quarter where the defense tightens up and you have to be able to make a shot. This could of been a preview of the playoffs for him, we’ll see how he adjusts
- Embiid, see above.. Giannis and Embiid inability to score in the 4th really hurt them
- The players seemed to adjust better than the coaches and refs to the new format. Coaches could of done more offense/defense matchup substitution towards the end of the game, but they avoided that. I’m sure LeBron and other captains had a bit to do with that too…
- The Refs were CLEARLY trying to let the players play, but once they started bitching and moaning (again playoff mode) it kind of forced their hands.
- The worst robbery that took place in the Chi this past weekend was Aaron Gordon losing that slam dunk contest… it’s a shame.