All-Star games are supposed to celebrate the best players in their respective sport, but often, the games are disappointing as the players give lackluster effort and are worried more about their fashion and not getting injured than putting on a competitive show for the fans. NBA All-Star Weekend took place this past weekend, and changes like the Elam Ending helped add a lot of excitement and competitiveness to the All-Star Game; in fact, this was one of the more entertaining all-star games in recent memory, in any sport. Nevertheless, here are some things the NBA should consider adding to the festivities to make All-Star Weekend more competitive and more entertaining for fans.
1-on-1 King of the Court
This is the event that absolutely has to be added to All-Star Weekend. The best players in the world of basketball are in the same place, so let’s figure out who is the best of the best. There could be a few million dollars on the line, but the competitiveness between the players would make this event incredible to watch. I also think it would be amazing to see how unstoppable NBA players are on offense, and it would force matchup problems where 6’3” guards would have to guard 7’ centers and vice versa.
I think it would be a fun addition to involve the families of NBA players more in All-Star Weekend. It would not just be about which professional is the best, but which has taught his kids the best. It would add the entertainment of kids to the weekend, and we would get to watch little Chris Paul Jr. go through a dribbling obstacle course or Riley and Ayesha Curry try to knock down shots like Steph Curry. LeBron James and his family would surely be the favorites in this type of competition, but I think this has a lot of entertainment value and would be fun for players to compete with their families.
Home Court advantage in the Finals
It is hard to incentivize players to care too much about the outcome of the All-Star Game, especially because the NBA All-Star Game occurs in the middle of the season and an injury would impact the rest of the season for players and teams. The Elam Ending where teams have a target score to reach improved the intensity this year. However, I want to see the NBA go back to the old format and divide the teams based on conference, East vs. West. Like the MLB, I think the conference that wins the All-Star Game should host the NBA Finals, which is a huge advantage. Money might not be enough of an incentive for players making hundreds of millions, but an advantage in the NBA Finals might motivate them. Also, please please please keep the Elam Ending because it is awesome.
Dunk Contest face-off
This year, the final two dunkers were Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic and Derrick Jones Jr. of the Miami Heat. Both players unleashed an arsenal of jaw-dropping dunks, and they had to do extra dunks because each player kept earning perfect 50s from the judges; ultimately, Jones Jr. won. The dunks were incredible, but when every dunk gets a perfect score, it gets a little boring. I propose the final two contestants have to try to dunk on each other. The dunks are not only flashy, but contestants also have the chance to dunk on one another. Imagine the posters that would result from this addition to the dunk contest…
Hall of Fame Game
Get rid of the Celebrity All-Star Game. It is simply a joke. I’m not sure what qualifies someone to be in this game, but I barely recognized any of the “celebrities” playing in the game. Instead, I want to see a game featuring Hall of Fame players. Sure, they would probably have to play a halfcourt game, but it would be incredible to see how competitive these legends would be and to see who still has the best game. Could 72-year-old Kareem Abdul-Jabbar still knock down his famous skyhook? Could any of them still dunk? We need this added to the slate in the 2021 All-Star Game.