How do you fix the NBA All Star game? Captains.

Published 1:10 am Saturday, January 22, 2011

We just had a great weekend of NFL playoff action coming off a week in which Jim Thome re-upped, and not too long ago there was that Tostitos championship game thing the football kids do. So naturally I want to talk about the NBA All Star Game at length.

My buddy E and I were watching the Packer’s surprise shellacking on Saturday when an ad for the Pro Bowl snuck in between spots for Bob’s Burgers (Which is kind of a funny show by the way. Once you get past how weird the characters look, its got really snappy dialogue and genuinely funny people doing the voice acting. All I’m saying is don’t get turned off by the millions of commercials for it during playoff games. To this day I haven’t once purchased Cialis for that very reason).  E and I decided immediately that not only were we not watching the Pro Bowl, we would likely change the channel if it was on, even if the alternatives were strictly Lifetime Orginal Movies. This got us thinking about ways to redeem the Pro Bowl, which quickly led to the idea of just getting rid of it. We did, however realize that the NBA All Star Game, while still an entertaining event, needs to be, and can be, retooled.

The NHL is doing the legitimately coolest thing I can think of with their All Star game, and I think if the NBA adopted it, it could be amazing. January 28th, two players determined by a poll of NHL players will pick teams for their All Star game, playground style, from a pool of players voted on by fans. This will be a cool thing for hockey players to do. The combinations of different talents and the true evaluation of some players by other players will be neat to see. But it will be no where near as cool as if it were done by professional basketball players.

Hockey guys are seemingly well adjusted. As we saw on the HBO 24/7 documentary about the Caps and Pens, pro hockey players aren’t really ego-maniacal and seem like generally good dudes. NBA players are, for the most part, not these things, and that’s what would make the entire process fascinating. As we’ve seen from LeBron’s twitter account, the Kobe-Shaq feud, and anything Rasheed Wallace has ever done, NBA players are at the very least, sensitive. And at the very worst, complete basket cases with huge egos.

Imagine what happens when captain LeBron picks our personal friend Kevin Love to play power forward in an effort to make him sweet on South Beach. Imagine Kobe picking Dwight Howard to light a fire under Paul Gasol. If Howard was elected to head a squad, he could completely spite Wade and Lebron and take Kevin Durant with his first choice. The combinations of basketball, playground style meanness, and off-season implications would be endless.

In what is as pointless an exercise as the game itself, E and I decided to write out how we thought an All Star draft would work out if Kobe and LeBron were captains:

LeBron               Kobe


1. Wade                 2. Howard
3. Chris Paul                   4. Durant
5. Carmelo Anthony           6. Deron Williams
7. Amar’e Stoudemire        8. Gasol


Nowitzki            Nash
Rose                 Garnett
Love                  Westbrook
Griffin                Duncan
Granger            Ellis
Gay                   Rondo
Wall                  Ginobli

Basically Kobe goes old school and LeBron gets excited about younger guys in general. My point is, it needs to be shaken up and could be really interesting. To get back to the fun, we should go back to the playground.

Also, if you want, I’ve started tweeting again under the handle 4thAndAMile. Its occasionally alright.