Lots of writers have been talking about the wackiness that surrounds the NBA All-star game lately. Normally I try not to blog about the same thing that a hundred other writers have done a piece on, but the whole spectacle is so absurd that I feel I have to chime in.
I understand that there has to be restrictions on what the players due on the court. The NFL has rules limiting play in the Pro Bowl; those I think are in place for safety as well as competitive purposes. Also teams are together for such little time there is only so much cohesion that can be developed. When it comes down to it the fans just want to see the best players play; makes a meaningless game a lot more entertaining.
The same holds true for the NBA I believe. People want to see scoring; defense does not encourage that so the all-star game just does not have it. Must be why you don’t hear about so many players dropping out of the NBA All-star game like you do the Pro Bowl. While I do think it cheapens the contest, I understand why.
However, this game is anything but a true all-star game. All-stars are supposed to be the best of the best; the premiere players of the game. For most of the voting a guy that has barely played was one of the lead vote getters (T-mac, I believe the Rockets have been unfair, but you don’t deserve a single vote). Another guy that retired because he wasn’t getting the time that he wanted and refused to come off the bench is actually a starter. He has not even played very much either, and when he has been on the court he has been unimpressive (gee, wonder why Memphis was benching him…).
To top off the attrocites that the so called all-star game commits one of the best players in the game is relegated to a back up roll off the bench. There is simply no way that Dirk Nowitzki should be in that spot. Few excell like he does; few have performed to even the statistical level that he has this season. Factor in the intangibles that his leadership brings and you have easily one of the most important players for his team and in the league. Yet, he is only worthy of back up duty in the all-star game behind.
Since the fans vote the starters in though he was overlooked yet again.
The NBA needs to do one of two things: either the method by which the all-stars are selected for the game needs to be tweaked (1/3 fan vote, 1/3 coaches, 1/3 players) or the name of the game needs to be changed to the NBA All-Popular Game, since popularity and not skill seems to be what counts.