Count me as not impressed.
I was skeptical about the changes made to NBA All-Star Weekend 2014, especially as it pertains to the Saturday night festivities, and I came away very disappointed with the entire night once again.
It all started with the Shooting Stars competition and went downhill from there.
What happened to the concept of the threesomes representing a particular city? I liked those pairings much better than the current format. Can you explain to me what Kevin Durant and Karl Malone have in common to be on the same team?
I will give the NBA a pass here because New Orleans doesn’t have a rich basketball history, but not having a member of the New Orleans Pelicans competing in this contest in front of their home fans was wrong. Each city does a tremendous job of hosting the event for the NBA and the league should have rewarded the home fans by letting them see a couple of their home players participate on Saturday night.
I also wasn’t thrilled with the team concept in the Skills Challenge.
Whatever happened to getting the best point guards in the league and have them compete against each other? Getting rid of the bounce pass in the competition was also a bad move.
But that is just nitpicking compared to the two main events of the evening.
While I still am a fan of the Three-Point contest, it is a much better event with eight participants and three rounds. The contest has much more drama to it when it goes from eight to four and finally down to the two finalists. It’s not that Marco Belinelli and Bradley Beal didn’t earn their way into the finals, but it is a much better event with the two extra participants and a semifinal round added to it. Having one round and a final isn’t much of a contest.
Finally there is the dunk contest, which I thought was an epic fail.
For a change there was a good field, including three All-Star’s, which hasn’t happened since the 1980’s.
This would have been a perfect opportunity to have a real dunk contest.
The freestyle round was a waste of time and the battle round wasn’t much better. I had no complaint with the dunks but watching each player dunk one time and then crowing a dunker of the night (John Wall) was pretty stupid.
You shouldn’t win a dunk contest by dunking one time.
It would have probably been a pretty solid contest by adding two more competitors and having three rounds.
Fans paid good money and people tuned into TNT across the world to see an entertaining action packed display all night long and the entire evening failed to live up to expectations.
The NBA wasted a good opportunity to showcase its young stars and at the end of the day showed that it still has a lot of work to do to make Saturday night as good as it should be.