Torrin’s Take on the NBA All-Star Game

Torrin Thatcher

While spending my reading period only watching a handful of basketball games, I decided to make up for the lack of sports exposure by listening to a lot of sports talk radio. I have come up with the conclusion that many people, myself included, do not care to watch the NBA All-Star game. As each game comes along, this debate also arrives with it. To end this disagreement, I propose a series of changes:
The first item that I would adopt is similar to what baseball did – make the game count for something. Baseball awards the winner of the All-Star game by giving home field advantage during the World Series to the team that represents the winning league.
In reaction to this change, some argued that “home field might come down to a player on the Royals? Or Pirates?” Yes. Simply as that, baseball had to do something to spike interest in the game, and I think this was a solid move. The NBA should try this. That would be my first change, make the game matter and people will care. If their team is a contender for the title, they’ll watch, and players will attempt to play something often referred to as … DEFENSE.
I watched the entire baseball all-star game this past summer from the first pitch to the last, and it was a great game because everyone knew the game could be the difference between a Game 7 clincher in windy Chicago, warm Tampa, or chilly Philadelphia. Basketball is naturally an indoors sport, but home-court fans can make a difference. Ever heard of the sixth man?
Put hot spots on the floor which are worth 5, 10, and 15 points that are shots of difficulty. True N64 players recognize this idea from a certain video game, and how much fun it can make a game. This could make the game high scoring, but to make it more interesting, put a limit of how many times you can shoot from each spot. Let’s say six to seven attempts from each spot, so about 20 shots total in the game. That is roughly 25 percent of the attempts by one side in each game. Only the players who have the capability to make the shots should attempt them, meaning Ray Allen will put up about 85 points per game.
To me, the three-point competition is the best part of the weekend. A guy has to have some great ability to shoot 25 balls in less than a minute with precision. If he makes the finals, his legs are exhausted, and it comes down to who has the better shooting technique. I was hoping Jason Kapono would have won his third title, but it’s all right.
To take something from the playground, why not legalize goaltending on shots from within 6-8 feet. Because of the three-second rule, players can’t camp in the lane and guard the rim. If not for goaltending, how about allowing it after the ball has touched the glass? If a guy goes in for a weak lay-in, why not allow Kevin Garnett to slap it out? This would enforce guys to go strong to the hoop.
To borrow from “tip 21,” if there’s an air ball, that is automatically an eight-point deduction. You’re an all-star – don’t embarrass yourself.
My mom always told me to keep my head up so I can pass to open teammates. How about making a rule that there has to be a certain amount of passes before a shot attempt? This would encourage guys in cutting to the hoop and would diminish the constant one-on-one battles we see.
How about picking teams, or shooting for teams like you would during recess? The top two vote getters are the two captains, and they take turns picking to form their team. Will Kobe, Lebron, CP3, Duncan, or Howard be the first pick? That would be interesting and could fortify some relations among players. As for who would coach the mix-match team? Who cares? Does it really matter who sits there and makes the substitutions?
I’m sure there are many more things we could think of: left-handed free throws, shorter shot clock, fewer dead balls or actually calling traveling.
As for the weekend in Phoenix, it was sad to see the news that Terry Porter wasn’t going to make it through the week as the Suns’ coach. He’s from Milwaukee and played college basketball at UW-Stevens Point, had a solid NBA career, and coached the Milwaukee Bucks for two years before being fired from that job. It might be safe to say that his NBA head-coaching career may be done for a while. On Wisconsin!