This past weekend was the NBA All-Star weekend, and unlike the Pro Bowl I was actually excited to watch it. Why was I excited? Because of all of the events on Saturday night and the amount of superstars that played *cough cough NFL*.
Starting with the superstars, in regards to each sport who is the bigger name? Eli Manning or Kobe Bryant? Russell Wilson or Russell Westbrook? Exactly, the NBA All-Star game featured many, many stars while the Pro Bowl had Eli Manning, need I say more? The more important fact was that no “stars” sat out the year as Kobe played for the first time in three years because he was not injured.
If you watched the Pro Bowl, im sorry that happened, you may say “The Pro Bowl had a bunch of young stars like Jameis Winston and Todd Gurley, so it was not all bad.” Still, it’s the Pro Bowl you could have the biggest youtube highlight machine, for example Odell Beckham, and still not get any viewership, by NFL standards anyway.
The NBA All-Star Game, on the other hand, had stars, youth, and energy. Maybe it is just the difference of the sport, as basketball is fast as high scoring while football is slow and methodical. I still think that it is because of the events that happened the day before, on Saturday.
Starting with the skills challenge we saw a big man take home the crown for the first time in a while, with Karl-Anthony Towns taking home the crown in a fun and exciting event, including a flawless run by Isaiah Thomas.
The next event was probably the most anticipated of the night in the three point contest, which surprise surprise Steph Curry won. The three point contest had a bunch of excitement even before it started as Kevin Hart challenged Draymond Green to a three point contest, and almost won, in a publicity and advertising stunt. I thought it was a very funny stunt and entertaining to watch.
What does the NFL have to counter these two events at their own All Star contest? Nothing, the NFL does nothing to show off their players and their talents on the field. Hopefully the NFL adopts the idea of putting a skill challenge obstacle course on the Saturday before, and a passing competition to counter the three point contest and show off their stars of the league. I still have no clue why they haven’t done this before but i digress, the very last part of the night was the dunk contest.
As this was the overlooked event in the recent past for the lack of star power and excitement, it is no longer. Aaron Gordon and Zach LaVine both resurrected this event as they competed to the very end, and into multiple dunk off’s as they both scored perfect 50’s in the final round and subsequent “dunk-off”. What does the NFL have that can even remotely be relatable to this? Say it with me: “NOTHING!”
So NFL take notes, the NBA is doing the All Star Game right. Get some more involvement and events for the fans at home to watch and talk about. Do keep the “Celebrity/Former Star Player” draft, I like that and think it is a good thing to add intrigue to the game. But again add more events like a passing competition, kicking competition, even a one handed catch event, 40-Yard dash, really anything that involves football and athleticism.
If you want to keep young fans entertained and older fans amazed and retained, add more things for us to say “Wow that was amazing” over and keep us talking about football in the dullest football weekend of the year.