With the dust settling in New Orleans, another NBA All Star weekend wraps up with it's fair share of noteworthy moments, although it's accompanied by a pile of miscues and tedious observations. It's become a subject of frequent debate: should the All Star regime undergo some major changes?
An underwhelming Saturday night and a defenceless All Star game opened itself up to suggestions of how to improve what is increasingly being treated as a holiday. It's a convenient break in the season for players to rest from the gruelling schedule, and while that remains important, it's appeared to come at a price.
The skills challenge along with three-point and dunk contests have often been spectacles circled on the calendar, but as of late they've failed to capture the magic. Gone are the days where icons are made - such as the Jumpman - and no longer is it that everyone gets up to their feet to capture some inspiring dunks. It's not much of a fault to the athletes, it's just that for whatever reason, the dunk contest doesn't seem to mean much these days.
|Image: The Express|
Moments such as Westbrook and Durant linking up encompassed some of the better highlights of the contest, but the change is needed, just as Kyrie Irving pointed out following the game. Perhaps as we move along in the seasons, we will see more teams adopt defence, but again that comes at an injury risk. Still, the slomo cams had a field day with the dunks from the star cast proving much better than the actual contest a night prior.
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Raising the stakes of the dunk contest is too much of a vague solution to preventing similar damp squibs like on that infamous Saturday night. Along with the commercials scattered around the broadcast elsewhere, the voting and subjectivity again makes this more look like a rehearsal than the actual thing.
So after that, we're left with more questions than answers. Rewarding defence and making the dunk contest more meaningful are first steps, but very loose ones. Perhaps reducing the risk of injury or cushioning the schedule for a bigger break around the festivities will allow players to truly take it to a competitive level.
But all is not lost. Jarrius Robertson, the young reporter was one of many feel-good moments as the stars interacted and made things truly special for fans. Some more serious basketball to go along with that and voila, the NBA All Star program is rejuvenated.