words & opinion by Creighton Phillips
With All-Star weekend in the NBA seeming to dull out as the years progress, there’s always a needed opportunity to spruce things up. During the height of an international appeal probed by the sport, and an increase in sponsorships due to the new apparel licensing deal from Nike, some suggestions could be made. Here’s a few that should and could interest the National Basketball Association.
The NBA should consider bringing back individual team jerseys to All-Star Weekend. It would heighten the attention paid to the All-Stars pre and post break, as well as prompt teams to push their best players with the incentives that are so carefully sprinkled in multi-year contracts.
Fans get an opportunity to see some of the craziest player exclusives in sneakers that haven’t been seen since the early millennium, and it makes each signature sneaker in the various brands’ arsenal more distinct. We move away from the All-Star Weekend sneakers and closer to the uniqueness that once was Christmas sneakers. It also gives Nike the opportunity to develop special All-Star Weekend variations/alternates of the original team jerseys.
The NBA should take away the fan vote altogether in regards to starter and reserve voting and allow fans to vote for the city that it’s in. Let’s be honest, All-Star snubs have taken place for far too long. With that being said, allocate the task of starter and reserve voting to the players and coaches so the best men get voted in. Hey, there’s already an NBA Awards show, so let’s take it up a notch.
With fans getting an opportunity to vote for the city that the game takes place and not the players, it prompts fan-fare and involvement. Who wouldn’t want All-Star Weekend in their city when the hottest sneakers are releasing and the best players are participating? Also, I suggest the game be played on international turf every third year. It furthers the international appeal of the game, something that the NBA has been experimenting with now for years with jerseys and the Global Games. Again, let’s just take it up a notch.
With all this being said, it’s really just a testament of the players being able to control their own destiny in regards to where they play. The player movement in the NBA has been at an all-time high after the last few off-seasons and trade deadlines. So what better way to get more fans on-board than to grab their attention in ways that have been seen and unseen. We all love this game!