There's a vocal group of basketball fans out there right now who were mighty underwhelmed by last night's competitions. I, for one, was just enjoying the festivities as a whole, but I can sympathize with those who were bored senseless. There was an impressive lack of effort on the part of several athletes. Tony Parker might have been drunk during the skills contest, I don't know. Steve Novak missed a LOT of threes that he usually makes in games facing defenders. And some of the dunkers spent the entire 1:30 straight up missing. The judges felt so bad they gave them attempts after the clock.
So what do we do?
Every night after the evenings' events, a gaggle of bloggers and writers make their way over to the Media Hospitality where they serve decent food and free beer. It is here that the great internet minds gather to plot the future of basketball. You know, because we have so much influence. Anyway, last night, after the rather poor showing we witnessed on the court, we were throwing out ideas of how to make All Star Weekend more entertaining.
There's not much you can change about the All Star Game itself, so we'd leave that be. But maybe instead of the Rising Stars challenge, we can throw together three-on-three teams, like the ones SBNation came up with. That way, there's a lot more scrappy action and physicality. OR, we could have a series of one-on-ones. If you watched the Rising Stars game, you saw Kyrie Irving and Brandon Knight absolutely embarrassing each other. THAT was entertaining.
We generally agreed to do away with the skills competition altogether, although it was suggested to keep it and add the element of style judging. That way, the participants would have to do it fast, AND with panache. For the dunk contest, it gets a bit more complicated. One thought was to throw in shot blockers. For example, let Terrence Ross try his dunks with Serge Ibaka waiting for him underneath the basket. Or better yet, plant Dikembe Mutumbo in the paint. The other request was to stop giving multiple chances. As Andrew Sharp mentioned, sitting in the arena while the contestants missed dunk after dunk was excruciatingly painful. Either you practice your dunk a lot and make it on the first try, or you don't do it at all.
My idea? A game of H-O-R-S-E. I mean look at some of the trick shots these guys hit night in and night out in the games. What if we got the craziest shooters on the court at the same time, trying to out circus-shot each other? I think that'd be entertaining as hell.
What would you change about the weekend?
Editor's Note: It's been brought to my attention that they tried HORSE once. I'm an idiot for not knowing that. Sorry. I still think it would be better than most of the stuff we've seen...