NBA All Star Game Change Is A Step In The Right Direction

All Star Game

In a head-turning decision this past week, the NBA has officially changed the All Star Game rules. The new game format will go into effect for the 2018 All Star Game, so let’s go over how it may play out. 

Ever since the NBA introduced the concept of an All-Star Game In 1951, the structure has remained more or less the same. Throughout the season, fans get to vote on the best players in the league from both conferences, and the players from each conference with the most votes play in an exhibition match at the end of the All-Star weekend for entertainment. However, it’s no secret that in recent years the game has turned into a farce. The winning team scoring nearly 200 points in what seems to be a combination of the dunk contest and 3-point shootout. Thanks to the new rules made official this past week, the game is finally changing for the better.

First, let’s go over what the new All Star Game will consist of. The premise of the game remains the same: two teams made up of NBA all stars facing off against each other in an exhibition match. However, instead of the two teams consisting of the best talent from conferences East and West, this year’s game has a different twist. The two players, regardless of conference. who receive the most votes will now act as captains of either team, and build their team from the remaining 22 voted players.. Some speculate this is a result of so much of the league’s talent moving from the East to the West. While the ASG has been dominated by the West (11-6 in the last 17 years), it is unlikely that this was the sole reason for the change No more East vs. West, just an eclectic pool of the NBA’s highest quality. At the end of the game, the victor gets to donate the winnings to the charity of their choice. Frankly, this change could not have come soon enough.

Any basketball fan who has watched the game in recent years knows it is hardly entertainment. And while there’s no reason for the players to be leaving every ounce of energy on the court as if it were the Championship, the lackadaisical and nonchalant play mirrors that of a pickup game of HORSE among schoolyard friends (who also just happen to be 6’7″ and able to hit a shot from anywhere beyond half court).

With the new rules in place, players have more to play for, and possibly more to play against. Modern rivalries now have the possibility to face off instead of playing on the same team (Durant vs. Westbrook, Harden vs. Curry). But arguably the most intriguing rule change comes at the end, when the winning side decides on their charity of choice. If there was one way to successfully poke the All Star Game with the cattle-prod of competitiveness, it was through charity. Whether it be Lebron James and The Lebron James Family Foundation, Stephen Curry and his Nothing But Nets campaign, or just about any all star and their associated charity of choice, you would be hard pressed to find an NBA player who isn’t actively running or supporting a national or international charity.

While the new rules are hardly Adam Silver’s sweeping declaration demanding the game to be a medieval joust between Lebron and Curry, they are at the very least a step in the right direction. Kudos to you, National Basketball Association.

If you want to read more in depth about the NBA’s change to the All Star Game, click here.

 

Twitter: andrew_mck11   

Melo to Play in 8th All-Star Game, in His City

Carmelo Anthony has a chance to relish this year's All-Star Game in his city. (photo from http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2014/1018/ny_g_anthony_mb_608x342.jpg)

Carmelo Anthony has a chance to relish this year’s All-Star Game in his city. (photo from http://espn.go.com/newyork/?vid=11722567&city=newyork)

Success has not been a word tossed around the New York Knicks’ locker room much this season. The NBA’s second most valuable franchise has the second worst record in the league this year. While the overall roster may be less than favorable, one player did receive some good news last week. Carmelo Anthony was voted by the fans to start for the Eastern Conference in the 2015 All-Star Game.

Despite the struggles his team may be going through this season, Anthony’s numbers have, once again, been solid. His 24.1 points per game are good for fifth best in the NBA. He is also second on the team with 6.7 rebounds per game and third in assists with three. All this while playing on a bad knee.

Melo surprised a packed camp at Hoop Group Headquarters when he walked in during J.R. Smith's Camp

Melo surprised a packed camp at Hoop Group Headquarters when he walked in during J.R. Smith’s Camp

Always one to top towards the top of the league in scoring, Melo’s points per game average, combined with his popularity amongst NBA fans, was enough to have him voted to the starting line up for the Eastern Conference. Joining him are Lebron James, Pau Gasol and Hoop Group Alumni John Wall and Kyle Lowry.

All-Star games have become a common theme for the 11 year veteran, but this year’s game holds a little more significance. This year’s game is taking place at Madison Square Garden, the place Carmelo has called home the past four seasons.

Last season, Melo explored different options as a free agent, but ultimately decided to stay in New York. A few days later, he explained his reasoning. “A few years ago I dreamed of coming back to New York City, the place of my birth, and on February 23, 2011 that became a reality.” he said in his letter. He would add:“I am a New York Knick at heart. I am looking forward to continue my career in Orange & Blue and to work with Phil Jackson, a champion who builds championship teams. Madison Square Garden is the mecca of basketball and I am surrounded by the greatest fans in the world.”

There’s no doubt that despite the struggles of the Knicks, Madison Square Garden is still the world’s most famous arena, with one of the most loyal fan bases. With this season all but lost, some believe this is the perfect chance for Melo to lure some potential free agents to the city he loves so much. Whether he will or not, remains to be seen.

Kevin Durant is one of the free agents Carmelo may try and lure to New York (photo from

Kevin Durant is one of the free agents Carmelo may try and lure to New York (photo from

As an added bonus, not only was Anthony voted to his eighth all-star of his career, but he will also be a coach of the Celebrity Game Friday Night alongside Knick diehard Spike Lee. This year’s game will be loaded with great names, such as Kevin Hart and Nick Cannon, former NBA All-Stars Allen Houston and Chris Mullin, WNBA’s Skyler Diggins and Tina Charles, and last but certainly not least, Mo’Ne Davis.

The 2015 NBA All-Star Game is sure to be a great weekend. For Carmelo Anthony, it’s a time for him to have some fun on and off the court and welcome the world’s best players to his city.

The NBA All-Star Game will take place at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, February 15th at 8:30 pm.