We are fast approaching the NBA All-Star Game. We don’t need an all-star game, just a break. After an incredibly challenging bubble, both physically and mentally, the NBA is planning to exponentially increase the amount of risk on the coaches and players. We do not need what is about to happen this week.
First, the game and events themselves. I am a big fan of basketball. I watch games religiously, I love basketball, but I can wholeheartedly say that I have watched very few All Star games from beginning to end. Yes, offense is entertaining, but to a certain extent, too much offense and no defense is not good. We’ll see groundbreaking plays that, in the end, have zero effect on the season, and probably won’t be relevant in a month from now. Also, there are the skills competitions. While the three point contest and the dunk contest are extremely exciting, the weekend would not mean anything without the game. Therefore, they could not have just the competitions.
Second, the players are tired, especially the playoff teams. They just had to spend an entire playoffs in a bubble, take the shortest offseason in a long time, and start back up again at a ridiculous pace. Most of these players have not spent quality time with anyone, and basketball has taken over their entire lives. This is a dangerous way of hurting players’ mental health. Not that the break is a very long time, but I am a huge believer in appreciating the little things and in this case, I believe that something is better than nothing. During this brief pause, all players should be given the time to unwind and focus on themselves.
Finally, the risk. All of the players are being brought into one city, while the pandemic is still going. Even though there is a steady rise in vaccinations, there will still be many people from many different places, going into the same location and coming together. Plain and simple, the repercussions for this game are simply too big. This will certainly delay the second half of the season and cause an unnecessary amount of stress on the players and teams to try to get all 72 games in on time.
In summation, I think that what the NFL did was best. They should virtually honor the players. It would completely eliminate the risk and cause the second half of a very entertaining season to run a little bit more smoothly. Furthermore, the accolade of being nominated to an All-Star game will still be given to the players. It is risky and irresponsible to hold this game this year, and I think that it will come back to hurt the NBA in the end.