Most professional sports leagues have their special weekend or day to highlight the superstar athletes. Outside of the NBA finals, the all-star weekend is the most anticipated event for the coaches, players, and fans. I have cherished this weekend ever since I was younger and first fell in love with basketball.
Not only is this weekend to showcase the superstars’ talent in the NBA, but it is a time where other players have an opportunity to rest from the strenuous 82 game season. Each year the all-star weekend is hosted in a different city which gives me an Olympic vibe because you never see the same scenery twice. This year, the event was in Chicago where iconic individuals from the city helped out such as Common and Barack Obama.
Over time the rules for the event were similar with minimal changes but within the last couple of years, the weekend began to change due to drops in ratings. The NBA tried implementing different events to keep the views from declining such as the celebrity all-star game. My favorite event for the weekend is the three-point shooting contest because I like to see which star can shoot under pressure. The majority of #NBATwitter will say the dunk contest is their favorite but I can’t agree. Don’t get me wrong I see some great dunks every year, but as the years go on it’s going to be harder to create new dunks to keep the crowd’s attention.
My favorite change of the weekend this year was how the NBA honored Kobe by naming the MVP award after him and changing the rules to the game. Instead of a regular game, each quarter is played to win; at the end of the first three quarters whoever has the most points gets an additional 24 points added to their score and becomes the target score. This makes the game more competitive compared to years before where players would get nonchalant during the game.
One concept I wish never changed is the players staying in their same conference making the game East vs West. Now it goes off the two players with the most all-star voting becoming captains and drafting other players regardless of conference. This year the captains were Lebron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo who were arguably two of the best players in the league. Overall the event has come a long way, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw more changes in the future.