March 5, 2017
NBA All-Star Game To Get A Makeover, Organizers Hope For A More Competitive Game

For years, the NBA All-Star Game has been an event for fans to see their favorite superstars compete against each other and go toe to toe with the best athletes in the world. The game typically pits the best players from the NBA Western Conference versus the best from the Eastern Conference. The fans get to vote for who they want to see play with the coaches and other players also voting on their peers and the teams are constructed based on that. Lately, however, the game has lost some of its appeal due to the noncompetitive flow of the game, which is why they are revamping the NBA All-Star Game in hopes that it will be more exciting to watch in the future CBS Sports reported.

The 2017 Al- Star Game in New Orleans just set a record for most combined points scored in the event's history. The two teams combined for 374 points which broke the previous mark of 369 last year. In fact, the record for combined points has been broken in each of the last four games. That's a major indicator of the lack of effort and defense being played in the annual event.

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr had this to say about the game, "In my mind, what's happened is everybody is trying to be so cool out there that you almost feel guilty if you play hard."
"Maybe the best thing to do will be to watch a tape of an All-Star Game from about 1985, because it was a different game back then. It wasn't like guys were diving on the floor for loose balls and taking charges, but it was competitive. And I think you're just as likely to get hurt not trying than you are competing at 75 percent. And that's all they need to do, is compete at 75 percent. Right now, they're like at 10 percent, and that's embarrassing."
Players have also chimed in on how to fix the game and make it more competitive. Draymond Green said to raise the amount of money awarded to the winners and you'll see guys try a little bit harder. Right now the winning players on the NBA All-Star team get $50,000 each and the losers get $25,000. Kyrie Irving of the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers also voiced his opinion on the matter.
"For me, I would love to play in a competitive game. I know we play in competitive games in the summer, pickup games, but I think going forward, the All-Star experience will probably get a little harder in terms of defense. It's all in good fun, but I definitely think that, if we want a competitive game, guys will probably have to talk about it before the game because some guys trying to get ready for the second half of the season is far more important, which I totally get."
Chris Paul, president of the National Basketball Players Association and point guard for the Clippers, reached out to NBA commissioner Adam Silver after this year's NBA All-Star festivities to see how they can reinvigorate the game and switch some things up to make it more interesting and entertaining.

"It is an All-Star Game, and you are out there to have fun," Silver said.

"You hear people talking about 4-point shots, something that's not about to happen in the NBA but maybe in an All-Star Game; maybe there's a few spots on the floor where it is a 4-point shot, maybe there's a half-court shot in the last minute that is 10 points. I don't know. Maybe those are crazy ideas."
One thing is for certain, something definitely needs to change. Otherwise, the scores are going to keep getting higher and the defense lazier. Fans don't want to see players run and gun shooting wide open shots the whole game. They want to see the greatest athletes in the world putting forth some effort to actually play hard against each other. Hopefully, the changes they implement going forward for future NBA All-Star Games will showcase that. Otherwise, the popularity of the entire weekend could be in jeopardy.

[Featured Image by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images]