The NBA switched to a draft system in 2018 to make All-Star Weekend more exciting. The two players who got the most votes from fans were named captains.
During an interview on Wednesday, Commissioner Adam Silver said that the league is considering ending the draft experiment and returning to the old East vs. West format as soon as the 2024 game in Indianapolis.
“I think we’ve lost sight a bit that it’s about the [All-Star] game at the end of the day,” said Silver.
Strangely, this means that fans want real competition instead of a walk-thru. Adding some conference pride into the mix might bring back the competitive spirit we used to see, at least in the last few minutes of All-Star games.
Silver went into more detail after that.
“A lot of it comes down to reinforcing with our teams and players how important this is for our fans,” said Silver. “… and you can’t assume that new players, especially young ones, know about the customs and generations that came before them. The league needs to clarify that fans don’t expect playoff-level intensity, but they do expect a challenging game.
Silver is worried about losing any part of the NBA crowd now that there are so many other things to do. So, the league has put strict rules about load management in place to ensure that the best players are always on the court while they try to get a new multibillion-dollar TV/media deal.
Being in the same frame of mind would mean changing the All-Star Game, which has wholly wasted time. In the end, the players need to realize that they have the power to make their game more famous, which means more money for them. Fans pay for ridiculously high ticket costs, cable packages, and merchandise.
To keep getting paid the vast amounts of money they do now (and those amounts are likely to go through the roof in the next few years), the players must first and foremost play, and they must play hard. That’s also true for the NBA All-Star Game and the regular season.