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All-Star Saturday to feature East vs. West format for the first time

Dec 20, 2012, 7:29 PM EDT

Kyrie Irving

All-Star Saturday night, as part of the NBA’s All-Star weekend slate of festivities, has been largely about two events: the Slam Dunk Contest, followed by, to a much lesser extent, the Three-Point Contest.

There are four events in total that make up the Saturday night program, however, and the league is trying something this year to perhaps get a few more people interested in the evening’s first two events.

From the official release:

For the first time, State Farm All-Star Saturday Night will feature a new format that pits the Eastern Conference against the Western Conference in a night of competition that will raise money for charity, the NBA and State Farm announced today.

As part of the new format, points earned by each conference throughout the four All-Star Skills Competitions will determine the conference that earns the title of 2013 State Farm All-Star Saturday Night Champion.  Also, each conference will have an All-Star Saturday Night captain who will lead his team during the event.

The first two events are the Shooting Stars and the Skills Challenge — the former is an around-the-world style competition that ends in a half-court shot (which is what ultimately makes it watchable), while the latter is an obstacle course of sorts that the league’s best guards try to navigate in as fast a time as possible.

Having attended All-Star weekend the last four years, I can tell you the arena doesn’t fill up on time on Saturday, as people really only care about making sure they see the evening’s two marquee events.

I’m not sure that this new wrinkle will change that, although at least the league is trying, and the fact that it’s doing it in the name of charity can only be viewed as a positive.

  1. tcclark - Dec 20, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    if they really wanted it to be watchable they’d do it like the NHL. Pick captains and have them pick the teams from a selected pool like on the playground….. oh, and have it on a playground. not literally of course, but basketball was born outside, so why aren’t they playing this game where it belongs? Get an outdoor stadium like the NHL does for the Winter Classic, put a court on the field and fill the field with games, activities, vendors, and attractions like they already do at the arena. There’s something really exciting about a potential NBA all-star game outside played like we everyone else does. Can you imagine a basketball game played at Fenway or Yankee Stadium? Who cares if it’s cold? The NHL was gonna do it in Detroit this year.

    For Saturday night, have the captains pick who they want to participate from their conferences. We might actually get the guys we want for the Slam Dunk and Three Point contests. Also, bring the rounds back for the Three Point Contest. Start with 8 contestants, go down to 4, and then go head to head. This six to three format they have sucks. As for the dunk contest, limit the props (no more extra hoops, or cars, or turning out the lights), bring back the judges as long as Kenny Smith stays as far away from it as possible, and let the men who really understand how difficult a dunk is be the judge on how spectacular.

    Right now the NBA is about gimmicks and this is just another one in a long list of gimmicks. If they want to make a change, make a dramatic one.

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