With the 2012-2013 NBA All-Star weekend approaching, I began to think about how the All-Star Weekend has changed.
In the 1980s, the league’s best players looked forward towards competing against each other in order to earn bragging rights for a year. Players now are content with making cameos during the Saturday night events and giving minimum effort during the game. The players would skip the weekend altogether if they could. Now players are more concerned with using the time to improve their public image and making business deals.
The NBA can borrow an idea from Major League Baseball in order to bring back interest in to the entire All-Star Weekend.
Baseball awards the winning side in the All-Star game with home field advantage during the World Series. The NBA can tweak this idea by saying, if one conference wins the Three Point Shootout, the Slam Dunk Contest, and the All-Star game itself then that conference gets home court advantage.
With the prospect of securing home court advantage in the Finals, all playoff teams will have proper incentive to ensure that all healthy players who are available to participate in the three events during All-Star Weekend. You get the top three point shooters and dunkers participating in the Saturday events. Also ensuring that the league’s top stars playing on Sunday.
For the players, they will have the ability to ensure that media will center in their city for the start, and possibly the end, of the Finals. This opportunity will be a big boost in gaining or negotiating sponsorship deals after being on the big stage at the end of the season.
The NBA will benefit by the participation of the league’s top players in all three of the major events during All-Star Weekend. The NBA’s business partners will benefit by regaining the exposure that they received back in the 1980s, where people planned their weekends around these events. Having the Superstars will ensure a more competitive game. This will have the fans wanting to spend their money to purchase tickets for the weekend’s events.
With the requirement of needing to win all three events, it is not something that should happen on a consistent basis, but when opportunity would arise, both sides would have motivation to play hard to either clinch or prevent the acquisition of home court advantage.
This idea if implemented would definitely get more folks watching the events on Saturday night. Then if one conference sweeps those two events, people will tune in Sunday to see if they can seal the deal and clinch the home court advantage.