I’ve felt this way for sometime, but let me now state for whatever posterity exists online that the All-Star Game in every American sport needs to be eliminated. These exhibition games are a waste of time.
The NBA All-Star Game hits this home the hardest. This is meant to be the NBA’s flagship annual event, so much so that this year’s game is being played in front of the largest audience in NBA history. If that’s the case then the NBA’s dire financial situation should come as a surprise to no sports fan. It’s a big enough problem as it is when your largest showcase is something other than your league’s championship, but you’re throwing gasoline on the fire when that event is boring, and last night’s game was boring … like really boring.
Some readers may argue that last night’s game wasn’t boring because it was close. I counter that it was boring because – and this is only one of three possible examples – Deron Williams cared so little about the game in which he was playing, for the first time in his career, that he LOST TRACK OF THE SCORE and put Dwyane Wade on the line with a tie game winding down. The players care so little that Williams’ foul wasn’t even the only stupid play that took place at the end of the game.
And that’s the major problem with All Star games. No one cares. The fans don’t care. I consider myself to be as big a sports fan as you’ll find anywhere. I care so little about these exhibitions that I would rather they not be played. I’ll wager that most serious sports fans are at best indifferent to All Star games and at worst willing to join me in circulating a petition to end them. The owners probably don’t care, and certainly don’t want their investments getting hurt. That leaves the players, and they positively do not care because, and I’ll go out on a limb here, Deron Williams has never forgotten the score in the last thirty seconds of a tie game that counted in the standings.
It’s the same in all the major sports I follow (it’s possible that the NHL All-Star Game is the single greatest event in all of human sport but I wouldn’t know, and frankly I don’t want to know). The games are boring because they are not consequential. Baseball now becomes the worst offender because granting home field advantage in the World Series to the All-Star Game’s winner has not added consequence to the All Star game, and instead has sparked controversy.
If the leagues want to give their players some time off in the middle of their seasons then they should do that. If they also want to recognize the players who are having the best seasons at the halfway point, then do that too. But, for the love of god, stop subjecting sports fans to half-hearted exhibition games that feature NO DEFENSE AT ALL and a bunch of hung-over multi-millionaires. If they must be played then give all the All Stars on the winning team a million dollars each. Deron Williams would know the score then.