The late great Kobe Bryant thought the All-Star game needed changing as it lost its purpose somehow, with the entire event no longer being as competitive or enjoyable as before.
The All-Star game needs a revamp
So far, the All-Star weekend has been pretty disappointing. Except for subtle flashes of brilliance by Karl Anthony Towns in the three-point contest and a few relatively impressive tunks from Obi Toppin, overall, it's a bad product for the fans. The media, alongside the fans, were also critical of the entire event, and numerous memes have already surfaced saying most of it wasn't worth watching.
The All-Star game is scheduled for tonight, and the players have an opportunity to leave an impact on the fans by putting on a show everyone is expecting to see. For the late great Kobe Bryant, it was already evident a few years ago the competitive nature behind the game was lost through the years, which essentially means the fans are also missing out on a unique opportunity. Seeing the best players in the world competing and going head to head is the whole point of the game, and that is how Kobe approached all the 15 All-Star games he had the opportunity to play in, in his HOF career.
"I think the All-Star game in general needs a little revamping because it used to be competitive. Fans want to see the best pick-up game in the world. That's what it is. They don't want to see you running up and down doing all this crazy stuff, dunking, and all that. They want to see what happens when you put the best collection of basketball players on the planet. They play and go head up against each other. I mean, you guys play harder at a pickup game at UCLA, and it ain't billion of people watching."
Winning in the All-Star game was one of the things that Bryant took exceptionally seriously, and he won 4 All-Star game MVP awards, which only he and Bob Petit have accomplished. Playing in that type of game lets you see other great players up and close, especially if you are teammates. That is how Kobe connected with Chris Paul, which initiated the desire to play together on the same team that the NBA eventually stopped.
Bryant rarely lost the All-Star game
Bryant knew Paul is also a competitor that knows when it's the right time to take over the game, which is a trait they both possess. Playing and winning together in the All-Star games made them realize they could actually coexist in the actual games, which initiated the idea to become teammates on the Lakers.
"So the All-Star game needs a little changing. I always loved competing in them, I didn't lose in many of them. Me and CP used to talk about it all the time. I don't think that when me and CP played together in the All-Star game, I don't think we ever lost a game. We used to look at each other, okay let's go. Yeah, fourth quarter, lets go get them."
Hopefully, players will have the same approach in today's All-Star game because the NBA cannot afford to have another disappointing night of an event that is already facing a lot of criticism. Luckily, we will see many great players tonight, and we can only hope for a good and competitive basketball game. Dunking and not playing defense is actually pretty dull, and most fans want to see their favorite players go hard against each other in a game that celebrates the sport. We can only wait and see what type of approach they will have tonight, but if it ends up being another disappointment, the NBA will have to rethink the entire concept and make it more appealing to the fans.