Saturday, February 10, 2007

All-Star Weekend Is Being Played at the Wrong Time.

Does anyone even like the NBA All-Star weekend anymore?

The player's hate it, apparently - everyone from rookies to two-time MVPs are spouting off about their distaste for it. Tyrus Thomas is only in it for the free money, and Steve Nash is pissed he has to dribble around in circles and throw bounce passes into those little nets for the second year in a row.

Speaking of Ty Thomas – the Bulls fined him ten grand for his comments. Can you fine someone for anything? How is that legal? Why just 10 grand? If they wanted to, could they fine him a million? His whole salary? If they can’t take his whole salary, why can they take 10 grand? Who decides the cutoff point? I want to know.

(And his quote is fun, so here it is:

"I'm just into the free money. That's it. I'll just do whatever when I get out there."
Free money, that really is the best kind, isn't it?)

Coaches and owners can't be fans of it; they have their best players running around all weekend in Vegas. What good can come of that? If anything newsworthy happens, it will be negative. Seriously, can anything happen this weekend that will help a team win the title? What the hell was the NBA thinking? They are contemplating banning players from night clubs, so the most logical course of action would be the gather the 30 most marquee players and let 'em loose in Vegas. I'm not saying I'm not a fan of it, but the NBA is really just setting itself up for the type of pub it positively hates.

Fans are wildly disappointed with the characters they round up to be in the dunk contest - Dwight Howard? Really? Unless he shatters the backboard, what the hell is he going to do? And for the record, that is exactly what he should do. Three straight rounds of trying to rip the rim off. And I don't know about you, but I am geeked to see Nate Robinson attempts No. 52-74. (They might as well bring The Birdman back.) How can you even take the thing remotely serious after the other AI throws the ball off the other side of the backboard and dunks it, and then loses to an absolute maniac with little man's syndrome?

No one really cares about the three-point shootout (some one would have to turn in a perfect round for anyone to even remember it), and that thing with the WNBA player is only good on the rare chance that there is some underlying sexual tension, with an NBA Legend looking on. And by "good" I mean "creepy" and "weird."

The game itself...well, it's sloppier than a) the Super Bowl in the rain or b) an episode of Taradise (I couldn't decide, you pick) and the best part is seeing the players giggle on the sidelines. Why don't we just have Dave Chappelle perform, stick the All-Stars in the front row, and have the camera focus on them the entire time? Same thing, really.

So what to do with the All-Star game? Take it out back and shoot it in the head, Barbaro-style? Well, yea. Kinda.

Why not play it in the summer?

I know, I know. If you think players are pissed about giving up a day during the season, imagine how pissed they would be if they had to give up a weekend during the summer. But it would only be one weekend, they'd get a free trip to Vegas and they would get to do those half-hug, pound things like 30 times since they hadn't seen everybody in a month or so. That's always fun.

Plus, it would allow the NBA to stay relevant outside of its calender year. This is the most important thing, I think. MLB has the Hot Stove, which kinda keeps people interested. The NFL is just a juggernaut, and with people studying up on fantasy football, their attention is on football at least a month before the season even starts. What does hoops have? I mean, they can't rely on the Pacers to beat the piss out of night club managers every month of the year, can they?

As a basketball fan, how cool would this be? It's the end of August, beginning of September. What's going on? There's some regular season baseball on, which is thrilling to be sure, but you can only watch so many drunk Cub fans sitting on their roofs at noon. You've already had your second mock fantasy football draft all by yourself. Then, out of no where, the 30 best players in the NBA are playing. How exciting would that be? You're telling me people wouldn't be looking forward to this? Outside of an Olympics or World Cup, this would be the marquee event of the summer.

Think about it this way: ff the NBA scheduled it the exact same night as the MLB All-Star game, which do you think would get higher ratings?

The only downside I see is that some players might show up out of shape. But really, those guys who are All-Stars are probably dedicated enough that they are in shape year round, even if they have taken some time off. Guards and swing guys are usually always in shape, and they are the only guys who matter in an All-Star setting anyways.

(Incidentally, this is why the All-Star ballot shouldn't be divided by positions. Does anyone really care what the hell Shaq or Yao does in an All-Star game? The only memorable thing I can remember a big guy doing was Shaq doing his Merton Hanks impersonation. Man, I loved Merton Hanks. But big guys are only there to get dunked on. They screw everything up. It's cute when hey bring the ball up once or twice, but really, get it to a guard so we can see some cool shit. Thank you. David: just make the All-Star ballot one long list with all the players on it. The results will be much more fun. Trust me.)

Listen, all the All-Star games are worthless right now. The Pro Bowl is a complete waste. Football is no fun to watch if the players aren't trying to rip each other's heads off. The baseball game is baked by maybe the dumbest premise in sports. The NBA game is overshadowed by players bailing left and right. The whole time you are watching, you can't help but think "this could be so much better." So what better to do than lower expectations?

When the game is played in the summer, no matter who shows up, you are going to be thrilled. I mean, its NBA basketball in August. How can you complain? This is literally Christmas in July.

So what do we do with the time the All-Star game currently takes up? Have a three-quarter court shoot out. I think the main reasons players don't do the dunk contest and other things is because they are afraid of losing something head-to-head. Remember, these guys don't play tennis. They are used to having teammates, if not to fall back on, then to at least use as a scapegoat. This is all them. So it is kinda hard to fault them for not wanting to get exposed in front of millions of people.

So shoot shots from the other foul line. It has nothing to do with basketball, really, but it would be fun as hell to watch. And even if someone goes 0h-for-100, you won't think any less of them as a player. I mean, its from three-quarters court, it's freaking impossible. But how great would it be to see someone throw in a few? That place would go nuts, and you'd spit your beer all over the bar when Dirk swished two in a row.

What else? A few things...

We could have the Pistol Pete Memorial "Who Can Spin the Ball on Their Finger the Longest" Contest. I would watch that.

I think an NBA game of dribble tag would be phenomenal. You know dribble tag: everyone gets a ball, tucks their t-shirt halfway into their shorts and starts dribbling around. If you get your shirt pulled out, you're out, too. You gotta dribble the whole time. There would be so much funny shit going on you wouldn't be able to watch it all (Plus, Shaq could sit on the sideline and do that thing where he rocks back in his seat and laughs with one leg in the air, which seems to be an All-Star weekend staple).

Basically, any games you played during basketball camp. Knock out, even. Just two days off camp games. That would be phenomenal.

Is there a downside here? To any of this?

2 comments so far. Might as well add your own.:

3bsaver said...

HaHa, Dribble Tag, I so would watch…. The more fun the better. The summer is kind of blah with sports anyways, and needs some spicing up. Could always throw in an old fashion game of H.O.R.S.E.

feelin blue... said...

what about hot spot? i think that'd be sweet to compare your score with dirk and people like that.."yeah man i once got a 70 in hot spot kyle korver aint got shit on me..."