Bloggers Say: Change All-Star Weekend

In the past month, various media types have been discussing how boring all-star festivities have become. For example, Peter Schrager of suggested changing the current NBA All-Star Game format to a multi-team tournament. Their brainstorming prompted me to survey my fellow basketbloggers for their thoughts on the annual b-ball event – Did they want change? What would they do to “fix” it? Here are the results.

Question 1: Which of the following events do you watch either mostly or entirely?

To read the data in graph format click here.

Over 90% of respondents watch most or all of the Dunk Contest;
About 84% watch the All-Star Game; and
71%, the Three-Point Shootout.

Only four die-hard (and I mean die-hard) bloggers followed the Shooting Stars competition.

Question 2: For which events do you care about the results?

You might be wondering why I asked this question – doesn’t it overlap Question 1? – but I wanted to see if differences in results would show how many watch for entertainment and how many are just interested in the winners and the statistics.

To read the data in graph format click here.

Again leading, with over 82%, is the Dunk Contest;
Coming in second this time, at 61%, is the Three-Point Shootout; and
Dropping to a distant third, at 43%, is the All-Star Game.

So I guess stats weren’t the main thing. Entertainment? Meh. Fodder for future posts? Probably.

Notice also that Shooting Stars finished again at the bottom, with nobody at all caring about its outcome. Again I say: die-hard.

Question 3: Would you change anything about All-Star Weekend?

A unanimous 100% said: “YES! In the name of all that is good and decent, YES!

Question 4: Which event(s) would you drop?

To read the data in graph format click here.


Over 78% wish to ditch the Shooting Stars;
About 53% want to say goodbye to the Skills Challenge; and
A surprising 16% want to dunk the Dunk Contest.

One blogger voted to pull the plug on the rookie/sophomore game. You’re an odd duck, Nick.

And here’s the question we’ve all been waiting for –

Question 5: What event would you add?

On hindsight, I should have said: “What event would you add or modify?” because five out of 26 respondents would like to modify the most popular part of the show, the Dunk Contest. All five agreed that it’s gotten stale and require more star power. Justin Poulin of Celtics Stuff Live would like to see big money to draw out the “real players.” The Nugg Doctor and our own Michael Rautins think that fans ought to vote dunkers in. Personally, I think all the events should have participants picked by fan voting.

Now, on to “new events.”

The most popular proposal (nine votes) is a HORSE and/or PIG tournament. Luke Middleton posted his PIG idea in detail. Dennis Velasco of Dropping Dimes and offered the following:

“How about a good ol’ game of H-O-R-S-E? Yeah, that would be cool and it doesn’t even have to be Bird/Jordan crazy from back in the day. In fact, the first round (four participants) would be P-I-G with the two winners of the two games moving on to the final. One rule – no dunks. Participants: Rafer Alston, Jason Williams (if he’s friggin’ healthy!), Baron Davis (see J-Will), and Steve Nash.”

Pradamaster of Bullets Forever would like to see PIG played by Gilbert Arenas, Dirk Nowitzki, Eddie House and Ben Gordon. I’d say Ben can come as long as he knows when his turn is.

Another popular item – seven votes, including my own – is a one-on-one tourney. Can you imagine Allen Iverson squaring off against Steve Nash? Or LeBron versus Kobe (from Dave of Blazers Edge and Howie the Hype Guy)? Or Dirk against Kevin Garnett (from Pradamaster)?

Two bloggers, Pedro of Posterized and Hoops Addict’s Gagan Gandhi, want to see the current East-West format of the All-Star Game go to a USA-versus-the World format. Judging by the results of the 2007 edition, that’s long overdue.

And now for a grab bag of interesting ideas:

Mister Irrelevant, Jamie Mottram: “I think that Shaq has proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that All-Star Weekend truly needs an official Dance-Off Competition.” Agreed. Bring Gheorghe Muresan out of retirement for this one.

– Tas from The Basketball Jones: “The Celebrity game should be a bigger part of the weekend.” Don’t get me started. Anyone else see Carrot Top? It looks like he borrowed Joey Graham’s body. Unfortunately, it’s the Bad Joey who’s invisible during games. If only he were invisible – he looked like either Twisted Sister or Mike Miller-meets-Elaine Boozler. Oh, and what about Michael Clarke Duncan running backwards at full tilt? It had that “scary, but I can’t look away” effect. How about getting him, Charles Barkley and Shaq in a backwards running race?

– Tom, Sactown Royalty: “Two-on-two, NBA Jam style.” Good idea. Nothing to add. Still reeling from Tas’ suggestion.

Toby Getsch: “I’d like to see a set of pickup games of all the rest of the NBA players that are not selected as All-Stars. This could maybe be 2 to 3 hours long, on several courts, and would be entirely run by the players, with no referees. Maybe a ‘King’s Court’ version where the losing team stays and the winning team moves up a court. There could be cameras covering each end of the court for each game, and no commentators. This would have to be live, and each game would have to be timed so as to help with arguing. Any simple derivative of this would be so fun to watch, and then later to watch again via YouTube or Google Video, etc.”

– Natalie, Need 4 Sheed: “I would love to see some kind of challenge to showcase defensive skills like a ‘Block Party.'” Now here’s the solution to the stale dunk contest! Let’s see Yao Ming get sweet revenge on Nate Robinson! Or Ben Wallace waiting in the low post for a Dee-Browning Gerald Green!

As Bruce Arthur said regarding the 2007 All-Star Game, “The record for points was 155, in double overtime, in 2003. The record for yawns was set [Sunday] night.” NBA decision makers, please resuscitate this “lifeless” on-court product! We humble bloggers, the biggest ball fans, encourage you to check out our ideas.


11 thoughts on “Bloggers Say: Change All-Star Weekend

  1. International versus nationals in five on five competition. This would be an awesome competition!
    I love the horse idea.
    Also, how about playground? Have a pool of, say 24 players (allstars, maybe?) have eight randomly chosen captains, then play it out — final four, two, then champs.

  2. great job, jeff. really enjoyed this poll…and this one-on-one idea is the best i’ve heard in a loooong time. that’d be sick.
    aand bloggers know the truth: the shooting stars competition is a big no-no!

    what about a trash-talk competition? that’d be nice too


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