Sunday, February 26, 2012

Top 10 Reasons Why I Won't be Watching any of the NBA All-Star Weekend

Every year each sport trots out its best players for an All-Star celebration featuring a variety of fan-friendly competitions in a made for TV ratings event. These events are absurdly relevant (Major League Baseball), or impossible given the sport's nature (the NFL, which someone gets more than 10 million viewers), or a waste of potential (the NBA).

The NBA All-Star weekend should be an amazing event. The world's 25 best players are sharing a court with little defense and tons of athleticism on display. But it simply isn't. If you disagree with me, just try and remember one outcome of one game. Who won last year? Who was the MVP? Who cares.

Here are the 10 reasons, in no particular order, why I didn't watch anything this year.

10. The Internet. The entire Saturday night "event" is pointless when I can just watch the 3 dunks that were awesome the next morning. There is no drama in the Slam Dunk Contest or Three Point Shoot-out that can't be witnessed without an awkward MC and a 100 references to the event's sponsor.

9. The events are on Saturday nights. This is a colossal mistake. The MLB has the intelligence to put everything on a Monday and Tuesday, when people are actually home and able to watch. Maybe the parties wouldn't be as great for the players during the week, but they'd probably be on when people are actually home to watch.

8. The dunk contest is irrelevant. The dunk contest is one of the greatest ideas the NBA (or rather the ABA) ever had, but now it is a shell of its former greatness. Jordan against Wilkins in the mid-80s pitted two of the greatest NBA players against each other in a classic match-up. I can guarantee that no one is going to talk about the great Chase Budinger/Jeremy Evans duel of 2012 in 25 years. Unless the NBA can convince its greatest dunking stars to participate, the contest will be tainted by the knowledge that something better could be happening.

7. The ridiculous old NBA player, WNBA player, and current player doing a "skills" competition. Every year it is painfully awkward to watch professional women's players and out of shape former athletes.

6. Only the 4th quarter matters. The NBA doesn't do enough to take advantage of having the world's ten best players on one court. They need to either increase the stakes, through money or something else, or go completely in the other direction and have four point shooting zones, extra points for alley-oops, and other ridiculous changes that would make the game more of an exhibition.

5. The game doesn't seem unique. By this I mean that because of the NBA's shrewd Thursday night schedule in which All-Star players are typically matching up against each other, the game isn't putting players against each other in a way I haven't already seen. A quick glance at the rosters shows that just a few teams are represented (thank god the NBA doesn't have the MLB's rule about a player from each team. Can you imagine seeing Boris Diaw's breasts bounce up and down the court?) and the games between these teams is must see TV for any NBA fan anyways.

4. The NBA season is too long. This reason isn't specific to the All-Star game or the 2011-2012 season because of the lockout, but most years, this just serves as a reminder that there are four months left in the NBA season.

3. There is very little chance of something out of the ordinary occurring. I'll probably end up watching the Oscars because out of the two live events, it has more potential for something crazy to happen. Someone might slip a boob or drop an F bomb or make an angry speech about respecting Jude Law. What is going to happen in the NBA All-Star game? Crazy dunks? I see that on top 10 every morning. The potential for something nuts happening that I'll be talking about all week at work is so small it isn't even worth watching.

2. The game isn't intense. Imagine just one hard foul, one player getting in another player's face. I generally don't have a problem with players socializing with each other and get annoyed at the old white sportswriters calling out for a return to the old style, but it definitely hurts the quality of play in this game.

1. The basketball isn't that good. At the end of a weekend of partying, the players seem to avoid trying on defense or even sweating. The players lack of familiarity with each other leads to so many isolation plays that you half-expect Antoine Walker to run onto the court, hit a contested three, and start shimmying.

I'm just a hater, no doubt about that, but that's why I won't be watching the All-Star game. 39 days until Opening Day.

1 comment:

  1. I dig it. But if I'm not mistaken, the All Star game was on opposite the Oscars, right? I read that Woody Allen was watching the game when his Oscar for Best Original Screenplay was announced. Unless he'd Tivo-ed the game....