The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The 2024 NBA All-Star Game Fails to Impress

AP Photo / Darron Cummings

The NBA’s best from the Eastern and Western conference competed in the 73rd NBA All-Star Game, played in Indianapolis, Ind., on Feb. 18, with the East winning 211-186. The game set a record, as it was the first time in NBA history that the winning team scored over 200 points.

The night was always touted as something dynamic and exciting, with this year’s events including the Rising Stars game, the skills challenge, the first-ever NBA/WNBA three-point shootout, the fan-favorite dunk contest, a surprise performance by T-Pain and, of course, the game itself.

However, throughout the main event, the overall morale for both teams seemed low, and many of the league’s biggest stars failed to produce the excitement factor. LeBron James went 0-for-3 in 3-pointers, Karl-Anthony Towns went 4-for-13, Luka Doncic went 1-for-6, Devin Booker went 1-for-7 and Steph Curry went 4-for-13 — all below season averages. The reason for the high volume of attempts compared to a standard regular season game was due to low levels of defensive intensity. Minnesota Timberwolves player Anthony Edwards commented on this difference in intensity following the game.

“For me, it’s an All-Star Game, so I don’t think I will ever look at it like being super competitive,” Edwards said, per CBS Sports.

Fans, coaches and experts criticized the low intensity of the game. ESPN’s senior writer Jesse Washington expressed his condemnation of the game on “Morning Edition,” NPR’s podcast.

“I really don’t think it was basketball. It was embarrassing, and it was just sort of disgusting to those of us who really care about competitiveness and the integrity of the game — that you try your best when you go out there, and I think it’s a bad look for the NBA,” Washington said.

Washington argued that the prestige surrounding the All-Star Game really comes from a player being selected to play in it, rather than their actual performance.

“They don’t need to do anything to get any attention or more accolades. They’re scared of, I don’t know, tweaking a pinky finger or something. And there’s no competitiveness left,” Washington said.

Because players’ salaries are so high, they do not want to risk injury for a game without a large payout. The 24 players who suited up for this year’s competition had a combined salary of over $4 billion, according to CBS Sports

Last year, NPR reported that the All-Star Game rating hit an all-time low. This season’s early report, however, does indicate an increase in interest, with rates rising 14 percent, per CBS Sports

The issue with the NBA All-Star Game has existed for years. Last year’s coach for the West, Denver Nuggets Head Coach Micheal Malone, said that the 2o23 game was “the worst basketball game ever played,” per NPR

In 2019, the late NBA Star Kobe Bryant also condemned the All-Star Game on The Players’ Tribune’s “Knuckleheads” podcast

“I think the All-Star Game, in general, needs a little revamping because it used to be competitive,” Bryant said. “Fans want to see what happens when you get the collection of the best basketball players on the planet, and they play, and they go head-up against each other […]. Guys play harder in a pick-up game at UCLA.”

There have been various suggested solutions to fix the lack of effort in the game. Some have argued to play the game at a different time, increase pay or even organize a U.S. vs. World matchup to increase fan engagement. 

With the NBA regular season two-thirds of the way through, teams will compete to make the playoffs, which begin on April 20, with less than 30 games to go. Except for the first seed in the East, which has already been claimed by the Boston Celtics, the rest of the seeds are still up for grabs. Hopefully, this will lead to some more competitive energy throughout the remainder of the 2024 season. 

More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Colgate Maroon-News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *