Feb 20Liked by Tom Haberstroh

Tom, if you were commissioner in this situation, would you still keep All-Star voting for the sake of Hall of Fame barometers? Would eliminating the All Star Game and threatening to eliminate All Star accolades make players play harder, or are we too far gone?

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What if the NBA did what MLB did once upon a time, and award home-court in the finals to whichever conference wins the All Star Game?

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The All-Star Game is kind of the epitome of "we’re doing it because we’ve always done it."

If it hadn’t existed for decades, I’m not sure it’s something that anyone would be trying to implement now. It’s a solution in search of a problem that hasn’t existed in a long time.

It used to be about growing the stature of the game and its stars.

When professional basketball was a fledgling sport, that was really important.

Once the NBA was more established, there was still a lot of value in getting its stars in front of a national audience, because many players weren’t widely accessible nationally at that point.

Which is why nobody would invent the idea of an All-Star game now, I don’t think, because it's an unnecessary risk and obligation that tries to solve problems that don't exist today.

But it has existed, it still exists, and it theoretically makes money via TV rights that the league doesn't want to lose, so we keep talking about rearranging deck chairs on an old steam ship.

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I find it fascinating that the biggest drop-off in All Star viewerships happened during the Internet 1.0 age, not during the post-2010 Smartphone & Streaming era.

That seems proof (to me, at least) that All Star games belongs in the Sportscenter bucket, where the excitement petered out the moment fans became able to open their computer and see video on demand of a player from across the country, in whatever league/conference, doing cool shit. A fan in, say, Seattle in the late-90s had maybe ten games a year he could watch Allen Iverson either against the Sonics or on national TV, even fewer for Vince - All Star was the one time a year that catching the guys you saw rarely all overlapped, and no gimmicks or motivational incentives will bring that back.

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I've been advocating for the League to make the All Star break a 3 day Fan Fest at each teams home arena. Bring in retired players have panels with these players to explain the history of the NBA have players available for autograph sessions or meet and greets with fans Its not just the NBA all leagues should look into this as a break in the season

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