NBA introducing All-Star Draft prior to annual All-Star game

LeBron James

LeBron James
Picture: AP

For sports fans who believe that NBA basketball has “playground too” since Larry Bird retired in 1992, this year All-WILLtar is doing the opposite of reaching those fans.

This year’s NBA will return to school grounds in Salt Lake City. Yes, starters will still be voted on by a mix of media, fans and players. In addition, there will still be 12 players from each congress, the reserves are chosen by the coaches. The difference this year is that fans will get to watch the players compete live, in a pre-match segment.

No more East vs West

For five seasons, the NBA eliminated East vs Wis All-WILLtar game match and have top two voter Act as captain pick and choose teams among other stars. In 2018, it was done privately. LeBron James later tweeted that he wished it had been done on televisionso since then, the captains have made their picks live.

While the process is aired on TNT, only Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Ernie Johnson, and Shaq are in the same room. The captains are in different parts of the country and no other players are televised. This season, if LeBron James and Kevin Durant — or whoever the leading vote-getter in the East is — decide to mess with James Harden by picking him last, he will be staring right at them if receives an All-Star selection.

Taking a page out of the NHL’s book

The NHL did something similar to this from 2011-15, except they set it up like the actual draft. It was interesting, but it might have been more fun if the players were lined up at center ice and skated over to the side that chose them.

The details on how exactly the choice of players is going to be executed have not yet been revealed. We will all find out together whether or not pyrotechnics will be involved, if Kevin Hart will be make witty comments about the players when they are selected, or if the players will be lifted from below the field after their names are called. I’m glad they finally went all out with this pickup game’s split style.

I used to enjoy East vs Wmatches every year, no matter how competitive the match is. NBA All-Star Weekend is one of my favorite events on the sports calendar. I never thought it needed fixing. If I were in charge, I would bring back the old Stay in School Jam from the 1990s – more to slam dunk mascot contest rather than a sane message.

It’s equally fun to drag to the permanently underrated Eastern Conference, to me, change is fine as long as the idea is good. Bringing basketball back to its most literal form, picking the team at recess, sounds like the winner as soon as the NBA decides. Of course, It’s more embarrassing this year for a player to be the final pick in front of a national audience than it was in front of 10 of his friends two decades ago, but NBA players receive massive financial bonuses only for being chosen as all -stars. That check will quickly remove any embarrassment.

NBA fans, remember to watch TV a little earlier than usual on All-Star Sunday. It’s a match where your favorite players are most sportingly similar to you. Waiting to be picked up for a mid-winter pickup game.


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