Saturday, March 4, 2017

Fixing the unfixable

Things upon which we can all agree, in a time when no one can seem to agree on anything: The NBA All-Star Game was a joke.

And not a good joke, either, like all those Joe Biden memes, and whatever crazy thing the Child President tweets next.

No, this was a terrible joke, as in "This is terrible! Let's change the channel to PBS." The final score, 192-182, was a terrible joke. The complete and utter absence of anything even vaguely resembling defense was a terrible joke. The idea that Anthony Davis was the MVP was a terrible joke -- not because it was Anthony Davis, but because the concept of an MVP in what was not really a legitimate competition was, well, a terrible joke.

It was so bad, in fact, that both NBA management and labor agreed for once. When it was done, NBAPA president Chris Paul tracked down NBA commissioner Adam Silver and said, "We've got to fix this." Silver agreed. Which surely must be good news for basketball fans everywhere.

Unless, you know, it's not.

That's because "fixing this" does not, apparently, mean Silver and Co. are thinking about making the All-Star game more resemble actual basketball. Oh, no. They want to go the other way.

"It is an All-Star Game, and you are out there to have fun," Silver said in an piece. "You hear people talking about 4-point shots, something that's not about to happen in the NBA but maybe in an All-Star Game; maybe there is few spots on the floor where it is a 4-point shot, maybe there's a half-court shot in the last minute that is 10 points.

"I don't know. Maybe those are crazy ideas."

Well of course they're crazy ideas. On the other hand ... he does have a point.

It is an All-Star game. Which means it's really probably not fixable in the way basketball aficionados think of it as fixable.

So forget about defense, because with defense comes a greater chance of getting hurt. And given the value of top talent in the NBA these days, only suckers would risk getting hurt in an All-Star game. And only front-office suckers would encourage them to risk getting hurt.

And so ... sure, why not designate a few spots on the floor as 4-point shots? Why not a halfcourt shot that's worth 10 points in the final minute? Why not raise the basketball goal for the final five minutes, or assign bonus points for winning each quarter ala the old CBA, or -- what about this? -- bring back the fabled red, white and blue ABA ball just for the All-Star game?

As Silver says, it's an All-Star game. Which means it's not really basketball, anyway. So why keep trying to pretend it is?

Pssst. Hey, LeBron. Go throw this bucket of confetti into the crowd.

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