The NBA’s All-Star weekend this year in Utah has become quite controversial. The weekend consisted of an exciting slam dunk contest, a three-point shootout, and an unsatisfactory All-Star game. The All-Star game is the final, headlining event of the All-star weekend consisting of all the top performers around the league over the course of the season.
Stars like Ja Morant, Jayson Tatum, and Lebron James participated in the matchup. People hoped to see an action-filled game with the best basketball players worldwide showing off their skills. Unfortunately, following the trend of recent years, the All-Star game lacked excitement and energy.
Sophomore Alden Croarkin said, “The All-Star game isn’t interesting because there isn’t any defense and players hardly try their best.” The main critique of this year’s All-Star game is the lack of effort from the players. Another critique is that the NBA doesn’t put enough effort into the All-Star game. Sophomore Heather Feuerstein said, “The All-Star game isn’t as hyped up as many leagues. The MLB has an entire week dedicated to All-Stars.”
Most fans don’t have high hopes for the future of the All-Star game due to recent failures. “I don’t really expect the format of the All-Star game to change much, given that it has only slightly changed in the past few years,” Feuerstein said There is also a belief that the All-Star game will take a sharp decline, due to the players themselves. Croarkin said, “In the future, the game will be even less intense because the players won’t want to get injured.”
The All-Star game has almost no stakes, which leads players to play at a lower caliber. “The NBA should put more on the line so the players have something to fight for or have a tournament of players going one on one,” Croarkin said. There has been speculation of a one-on-one tournament replacing the All-Star game or as a new addition to the All-Star weekend events. Another idea, Feuerstein said, “The NBA should have a battle of the countries, similar to World Cup style.” This would grow more worldwide fans and have a competition that everyone can be intrigued by.
The All-Star weekend used to be a time to look forward to as part of the season, but fans have simply been left wanting more this year. As expectations are dropping, people are waiting for the NBA to make any change for the better. Feuerstein said, “I don’t foresee a large difference unless a majority of fans post negative feedback on social media and in the news.”