Friday, February 24, 2012

The Worst Part of All-Star Weekend

The Celebrity Game is the part of the NBA All-Star Weekend that allows fans to watch NBA legends as they take the court again. In the past we've seen the likes of Scottie Pippen, Chris Mullins, and Dominique Wilkins. Unfortunately, to fill out the roster, the NBA surrounds these former stars with rappers, celebrities, and reality television personalities. This year between glimpses of great players like Penny Hardway, Mitch Richmond, and Nick Anderson fans will also get to see Jersey Shore's Vinny, Grammy winner Ne-yo, and comedian Kevin Hart.

The All-Star Celebrity Game isn't in anyway a serious function. It's meant to be fun. The legends and coaches (whom are NBA players) attempt somehow to guide their individual teams full of brain dead celebrities to a win. Sometimes the celebrities can be surprisingly good. An example is NFL star Terrell Owens. But, more often than not, they are average at best.

The function itself isn't anything that is going to end the world. The main problem with the Celebrity Game is it forces some of the greatest players in NBA history to share the spotlight with a collection of minor celebrities. They also shove random WNBA players (including MVP Tamika Catchings) into the mix which in a way is insulting to the WNBA. I don't know if this is necessarily a humiliating thing for the legends. It's all meant to be in good fun. But I think it ruins a potentially entertaining experience for the NBA fans.

The NBA would be better suited if they could in some way create a separate legends game. I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard for the NBA to find a group of former players to play a shorten game during All-Star weekend. Not everyone would be a Hall of Fame caliber player. But it would still allow the NBA to showcase former great players in a more interesting game, and a better talent pool.

In the end, most NBA fans won't watch the Celebrity Game and the ones that do will be subjected to a great deal of bad play from celebrities. However it is just a warm up for the real event of the night (The Rising Stars Game which will feature Jeremy Lin on Team Shaq) The game will still draw the fans of the celebrities participating in the game. So the NBA still benefits by bringing people who are not necessarily NBA fans into the mix. The Celebrity Game doesn't need to be ended. Just take the legends out and give them their own part of All-Star weekend.

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