The NBA All-Star weekend reached its peak on Saturday night. The night started with a more exciting than usual Skills Competition with rookie Karl-Anthony Towns winning over Isaiah Thomas. Following the Skills Competition was the always entertaining Three-Point Competition that came down to the Splash Brothers facing off once again, Thompson taking home the trophy this year. Then came the incredible dunk contest that was easily the most entertaining dunk contest in years. I’m thankful for freak athletes like Aaron Gordon and Zach Lavine who are willing to do the compete in the contest, unlike many superstars who would be phenomenal in the event. I’m looking at you, LeBron.
Sunday night of the NBA All-Star weekend was boring as usual. The game is fun for the players because they can show off all of their tricks and play on the same team as the best players in the world. As a fan, it’s fun for about a quarter, but I think most people would agree that it would be much more entertaining if there was a true reward for the game and the players took it seriously.
Hot take: I wouldn’t care if the skills competitions replaced the All-Star games entirely.
I think all professional sports should focus on the skill events. Though the MLB All-Star game actually has meaning, more people tune in the night before to watch the Home Run Derby. The NHL skills competition is always worth watching. The NBA has multiple skill competitions that are much more entertaining the game itself. I would rather watch world-class athletes display their athleticism than watch them act like they care about a meaningless game for a couple hours.
The only sport that doesn’t have skill competitions preceding the game is the NFL. They held them until 2007 but have not had one since. I would much rather watch a Pro Bowl combine, 7-on-7 tournament, and linemen skills competition than watch the actual Pro Bowl. Hell, I’d rather watch the Pro Bowl linemen play in their own 7-on-7 game than watch the Pro Bowl.
It’s obvious even the NFL players think the Pro Bowl is a joke. It seems as if half the players who are voted in don’t even show up and are replaced by guys that are not deserving of the title of Pro Bowler.
These All-Star games have become a joke and the only thing keeping them going (in my opinion) are the skills competitions. Either make the games mean something, or put the focus on the skills competitions.