What Happened to the All-Star Game?

On Sunday, February 19th, the All-Star Game between Team Lebron and Team Giannis took place. The game ended 184-175, with Jayson Tatum having a record-setting 55 points, leading Team Giannis to take the win. Jayson Tatum went on to receive the All-Star game MVP. 

Now, you might ask yourself, how was a game with some of the NBA’s best players and defenders this high scoring? This can be answered by All-Star guard Jaylen Browns’ take on the game itself, β€œThis was just a glorified layup line.” To not risk injuries, players were not going all-out, and some left early altogether. This included big-name stars such as Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Head coach of the Denver Nuggets and the coach of Team Lebron, Mike Malone’s, statement on the game was β€œthat is the worst basketball game ever played.” Throughout the game, there was a clear lack of effort from both sides. There were players like Joel Embiid and Kyrie Irving, who Malone gave his respects, that looked like they were playing their hardest. Ultimately, the majority of players did not put in 100% of their effort.

A study coming out after the game revealed that last Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game was the lowest-rated and least-watched All-Star game of all time. The 2023 edition of the All-Star game averaged a combined 2.2 rating and 4.59 million viewers. This is a 29% decline in ratings and a 27% decline in viewership. This year’s declines are the steepest it’s ever been since 2000.

This terrible showcase has led to conversations on how to improve the All-Star game; to make it more bearable and enjoyable to watch. A major suggestion is to do the East vs. West format or a United States vs.World Game. This would give players a sense of pride in making sure their team does well by giving bragging rights to their conference or their country. 

Another major suggestion is to put something on the line for the game. This could range from monetary incentives for players to giving money to select charities for either team or discounts for fans. NBA All-Star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has stated that β€œMoney talks” and that to get players motivated there should be more money incentives for players to try their hardest and win. 

Fans want a show between their favorite players on each team, but they also want to see competitiveness. The All-Star game now is all for show and the players don’t take it seriously.