Our Ideas In Making All-Star Games More Competitive

written by Kris Caballero (April 04, 2017)

It's nice to lay back and watch your favorite super stars bust out their acrobatic skills and talents during All-Star weekends. To me, it's like a 3-day holiday weekend for basketball fans giving us a reason to cozy up and stay home to watch all the fun. However, since 2012, this "fun" has been met with uninteresting, repetitive techniques that have caused us fans to yawn more than once during the event. Yeah, that's not good.

I just want to say something: if you've hung around our entire website, you'll likely run into some articles and/or reviews where I've shared some ideas and smirk at the fact that it'll get stolen. While I understand that notion completely before I wrote this article, and because my ideas won't ever get me employed by the sports leagues themselves with me being a ghost writer with no strong work ethic (how do you know that, and what kind of presumptive/prejudicial hiring managers have these sports leagues employed, that made them think I'm like that?), I decided to bravely share my ideas for the Universe to read and see. Saying that, if any of these ideas were ever considered, remember one thing: you heard/read it here first. Sports leagues, especially employees from the NBA's social media/marketing departments now know how I feel, but are too threatened to realize that I may replace them one day. Companies want hard workers with vision, not a temporary flop who only come in to work just for paychecks, experience, and bragging amongst others, right? (Roughly 6 employees in the social media department reading this article now feel threatened. Say hi to your boss for me.)

The ideas I've implemented may not be the best thing ever devised, but for some reason they're good enough to steal. One of our fans out there is guessing that uncreative business folks and entrepreneurs are drooling if I ever launch a website titled IDEASOTROS!—a haven for creative, fun ideas that make our lives easier and alternatives to get us to spend less than what's out there in the markets. Unbelievable....

Alright, anyway, let's start with the BAD ideas in making the All-Star games more fun and competitive:

• Giving the All Stars additional/increased pay for competing in the All-Star Game
Yes, terrible idea. I mean, any player can take the bonus and can pretend he's conserving his energy for the second half of the season. Due to the fact that players resting is already a problem, giving them higher pay just increases their choice in not wanting to push and play farther, all over a simple exhibition game. Trust me, doing this may involve ticket sales from fans, and if any of these All Stars demand more money, that may include increasing sales of tickets, as if they're not expensive already. Deter any idea of monetary gain among these athletes; The quality of game play is the most important and nothing should be earned unless you worked for it, so don't expect to earn it because everyone feels sorry for you, or because an athlete is "different."
• Removing the Traveling Violation
It warms my heart knowing that a player can take 5 steps from the 3-point line in order to penetrate the defense for a monster dunk. That's nothing to 'dab' about, gentlemen (to those grown men who think dabbing is still cool).
• Have the All Stars place bets against each other. All Star Bettors on the losing team pays the winner
While the push for national legalization of sports betting continues, allowing players to bet and having sports writers and analysts spin such a report on their sports network without cluing fans about the likelihood of any "rearrangement" of a game's outcome, this idea is not only bad but dangerous. Any of you watched the movie The Gambler starring Mark Wahlberg? Anyone remember the crazy gun incident involving Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton back in 2009? Yeah, well, using this idea will increase the odds of players pulling that same scheme to each other, which means not only money and likely home invasions/robberies will take place, but also lives will be at risk even outside of the court. You might as well market the league as "NBA: Pro Basketball's Russian Roulette—All Or Nothing...and We Mean Nothing."

I found this idea from some fan's comment in reaction to an article written on CBS Sports about this very subject. Blame him.
• Removing the time limit from the dunk contest
There used to be a 3-minute time limit for players to set up and perform their dunks before an eager audience. Removing that made the dunk contest more and more boring. Now that it's 2017, our time is money and we don't have time for a player making small talk and smirks at his lousy attempts not working. Players were timed for a reason, and I had no idea why this was removed.

Whether you read from the start, or skipped to this part, here it is: our GOOD ideas in making the All-Star games competitive and watchable:
• Winner gets home (field) advantage
MLB uses this idea, and it couldn't be an excellent one at that. It's a nice feeling when your team has the home advantage and brings home the gold for everyone to witness and celebrate, which is an exciting feeling in it of itself. Then again, the team with no home court advantage psychologically increase their competitive awareness, blocking out the cheers of the home team and concentrate on winning the game. (I learned this from former NBA on NBC broadcast analyst Doug Collins, when he talked about Chicago Bulls' increased winning percentage when playing teams on the road back in 1998, namely against Glen Rice's Charlotte Hornets in the first-round playoffs. Yes I paid attention and I never forgot.) With that uncertainty, that's enough for fans wanting to know who's got the edge in competing in the NBA Finals. It sure makes you wonder, eh?
• Along with the rookie challenge, players on the winning team's college (alma mater) gets exemption and bonuses in the NCAA
Now, yes, the NCAA [Basketball] and the NBA are different entities but both specialize in basketball with the NCAA's players advancing their luck and talent to be drafted in the biggest basketball league in the world. While such an idea may be too ambitious (don't count your chickens), this will not only increase heated competitiveness but an increase in viewership. For example, Carmelo Anthony played for Syracuse and if he plays and scores a game high while getting the East Team to win, shouldn't the folks and fans of Syracuse be excited knowing their former hero gave them a sense of nostalgia, while gaining advantage to compete in the NCAA's tournament? That sense may give retired players huge envy in wanting to play the game again and score that game-winning shot they used to do back in college. Just don't remind Chris Webber to call a timeout when his team is out of timeouts.

I hear you, fans, "but Kris, what about those players who never attended college?" No big deal, they'll be playing for their charity. In LeBron's case, it's the Boys & Girls Club, for example. If the East Team wins, LeBron's charity will win one million dollars, helping kids go out more, play sports and be better educated. Win-win, isn't it?

Since I'm still in the process of learning and studying the management side of sports, there could be a special agreement between the NCAA and the NBA (it's only the All-Star game anyway) and making such idea work. Because of that, this ought to tell future prospects in the NCAA that their moment(s) in college still count when advancing to the NBA. It's more than just paychecks for turning professional, you're forever indebted to the college you have played for.

What if an athlete played for multiple colleges? We may have to consider the most recent, or last, college he attended before turning pro. A player drafted from the D-League? Then the D-League may have to pitch in to this bonus as well. What if the player is drafted out of high school, not the D-League and has no charity? His winnings will be given to the charities the NBA has happily partnered with. Stop crying, gentlemen, your egos and your bank accounts aren't important; To play is to inspire, and young kids want to be given and shown a reason why they ought to run out to buy your jerseys.
• Raffle 10 lucky fans in attendance to participate in the $25,000 Half Court Shot Challenge
You know how you attend a home game and some lucky fan has a chance to win big cash and prizes by giving them 3 chances to make a half court shot? Give fans to participate in the competition of their own by raffling, literally anyone in the arena, a clear shot of coming on court with a chance to win cold, fresh $25,000. Heck, I'm excited knowing that I have another good reason to buy tickets to an All-Star game.

What if more than 1 person made the half-court shot? Put them in a tie-breaking showdown and repeat.

Have Jalen Rose call out the chosen winners of the raffle, interview them a bit and do a little live play-by-play of their attempts in trying to make the big shot, while Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley are the analysts talking for the audience at home. Kenny Smith, Chris Webber, Brent Barry and some other former players can act as temporary coaches in giving the audience member(s) advice in shooting the half-court shot.

Alright, my brain fried up which means that's all I can think of. Our ideas are open to tweaking and constructive critiques. Do you have ideas in making the All-Star games more competitive, lively and fun? Talk to us in the comments below!

This idea surely won't get stolen: joining the Beckett Marketplace! Subscribe to Beckett's price guides which includes free shipping: