On Thursday night, the All-Star reserves for the Eastern and Western Conferences were named, completing the All-Star lineups after the starters for each team were announced last week. As expected, there has been an uproar by some NBA fans over who was left off the rosters, such as Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers in the West, and Kyle Korver of the Atlanta Hawks for the East.
When I was a little kid, I loved the All-Star game. All I wanted to see were big-time dunks and sick passes by my favorite players, and I was too dumb to know that no one was actually trying and the game was really an exhibition match. It is no secret that the events preceding the All-Star game, such as the three-point competition and dunk contest, are wildly more popular than the game itself.
This is common for most All-Star games in sports, and even though many fans do not care about what happens in the game itself, leagues generally find it to be one of the most exciting parts of the year because of how much money they generate.
Is it a problem that really needs fixing when the goal of this kind of thing should be maximum profit? I still say yes. When one of the biggest events in your sport is one that a majority of your followers couldn’t care less about, there is a problem. Not only that, it is completely defensible as to why fans do not care about the All-Star game.
At the same time, it is funny to me when there is sudden outcry of injustice when a great player like Lillard gets snubbed. For a fanbase that shrugs at the All-Star game, we all do a really great job of getting angry and acting like it is completely ridiculous that a player we like did not get to play in a game we are not going to watch much of anyway.
This past week, Zach Lowe of Grantland mused on the “B.S. Report with Bill Simmons” on when it comes to assessing a player’s career, the number of All-Star teams the player made is always weighed heavily when asking if that player should potentially be a Hall of Fame player. Lowe made the outstanding point of asking the question that if we are going to write off the All-Star game as a joke that nobody watches, why does it matter when it comes to how many times a player was an All-Star during his career?
It is clear that the system is broken and repairs are needed. If we continue to measure a player by the amount of times he makes the All-Star game, we must find a way to start caring about the outcome of this game. Unfortunately, I do not see this happening any time soon.