NBA All-Stars: Talent vs. Competition

Kaylee Donnelly, Senior Writer

The NBA All-Star Game was played last Sunday, with “Team LeBron” taking on “Team Giannis.” Despite  featuring some of the greatest stars of the NBA, the game fell short of exciting. 

The All-Star game used to be a competitive game, as the greatest stars would get together to showcase the best of professional basketball. These recent years, however, it’s seemed as if the initial goal of getting together the “all-stars” has drifted away and been replaced with individual players attempting to show off personal skills. Where previous elite competition existed, it feels as though the love of the game has been squeezed out into a marketing event.

Team Giannis ended up beating Team LeBron 184-175, despite Giannis not making a significant appearance and LeBron leaving the game soon after a hand injury. Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum was the MVP of the night, scoring 55 points and setting a record for the most points scored in an All-Star game. 

The losing coach, Mike Malone of the Denver Nuggets, called the game “the worst game of basketball ever played.” Similarly, Celtics player Jaylen Brown called the game a “layup line.”

The lack of competitiveness is evident in the type of game they played. The lack of defense, paired with the consistent lay-ups and constant attempts at three-pointers, made the game unsatisfying to watch. 

A big issue is players not wanting to get injured, which is completely understandable. No star player wants to ruin their career by getting seriously injured in the All-Star game. This probably why LeBron was so willing to take himself off the court and Giannis was pulled off the court, despite being the captains and big names of each of their teams. 

Another point was that the game was missing some big names. Golden State Warriors point guard Stephan Curry was out because of his lower leg injury, while New Orleans Pelicans’ Zion Williams and Phoenix Suns’ Kevin Durant were also out due to injury. 

A few did put on some good efforts, like Brown and Kyrie Irving, who put up stellar points and committed to playing some defense. If they want to commit to the NBA All-Star game in its glorified conception, they will have to commit to bringing back competition into the game. The argument already exists that the NBA is already lacking in the scrappy, team-oriented desire to win unlike other sports and their college companions. They need to figure out how to invigorate their players into playing a good match, and bringing the fun and entertainment back into these All-Star games. 

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