Freeman Cebu Sports

All-Star dud, again

NBA BUZZ - Bobby Motus - The Freeman

The NBA reverted to its original East versus West format in this year’s All-Star game, yet it didn’t appeal to me to watch the game or the other scheduled activities over the weekend.  Yes, I had mentioned in earlier columns that this could be an interesting ASG, but I simply lost interest ever since the league experimented with the draft style selection for the AS teams.

As gathered from reports, the All-Star festivities were borderline boring.  If this is the case, the league must explore other ways to get back the interest of the fans in future ASGs.

There was positive feedback from the Stephen Curry-Sabrina Ionescu shootout but the same cannot be said of the Slam Dunk contest, which, in several years past, had the best and exciting dunkers showing their hang times.

Gone are the days of the Michael Jordan-Dominique Wilkins aerial dogfights, Spud Webb confirming that sub six-footers can jump, the gracefully gliding Clyde Drexler, Vince Carter defying gravity, Blake Griffin flying over a KIA and the Aaron Gordon-Zach LaVine battle.

It needed G-Leaguers to at least spice up the competition and for the second consecutive time, Mac McClung is the dunk king.   YouTube showed Jaylen Brown with a comedic attempt – covering his eyes when he landed, after his dunk.

The contest was first introduced in 1976 but had become an annual event since 1984.  Larry Nance, Sr., with a ball in each hand, won the inaugural Slam Dunk contest.  Today, it had run out of ideas that 360s, jumping over tall guys and between-the-legs dunks had become ordinary fares.  Maybe next time, someone could replicate and improve Nance, Sr.’s 1984 winning feat.

The tune-up game recorded a combined score of 397 points at the final buzzer.   It also recorded the most field goals attempted and made, the most 3s attempted and made, the most assists.  According to sports reports, players were playing half-heartedly.  What else can you say about all those uncontested layups, threes and dunks.  At least the ASGs of the 80s and the 90s have shown a bit of competition.

Anthony Edwards was spot on when he said that ASGs will never be competitive.  “I don’t know what they can do to make it competitive.  It’s a break.  I don’t think nobody wants to come here and compete.”  Exactly.  No one wants to get injured in an ASG.

If the league can’t remedy the situation, they could just totally scrap this thing and let the players enjoy their midseason break.  They must be considerate of the fans who shelled out an average of $2,100 per ticket for this year’s midseason event.

Again, the NBA All-Star Game had become a dud.

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