Sideline Report: The NFL Pro Bowl and NBA All-Star Game lack excitement

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The National Basketball Association held its All-Star weekend this past weekend with event such as the celebrity game, three-point contest, dunk contest and the All-Star Game. This has been one of the more enjoyable points, with the grueling, 82-game NBA season dragging on every year. But, this weekend always turns out to be fun to watch, with the best basketball players having a good time and showing off their incredible abilities. From Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry to Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, this weekend brings out all of the stars and gives me hope for the NBA. (Also, Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine put on one of the greatest dunk contest performances in history). All in all, this has been an event that gets me excited for the NBA season again.

The All-Star Game on Sunday night, however, played into all of the stereotypes and stigmas of the NBA. There was no defense to be found and it was boring to watch. Players would just run down the court and dunk or just throw up three-pointers, back and forth, back and forth. I couldn’t stay interested for longer than five minutes, and I instead tuned into the 4oth anniversary special of Saturday Night Live (which I was also slightly disappointed by). The game finally ended with a score of 163-158 and the Western conference defeating the Eastern conference. Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook took home MVP with 41 points. That is ridiculous and reminds me of the fact why the NBA is loathed by many.

This is just one example of why All-Star games are lackluster at best. Mainly, the NFL Pro Bowl and the NBA All-Star Game are the games I’m talking about. The MLB, MLS and NHL All-Star Games showcase the best players in the best way, are exciting and actually have playoff implications. The NFL and NBA have it all wrong. The Pro Bowl has an awful display of defense and isn’t interesting at all. The refs even joke about the lack of effort and penalties. It has even gotten to the point where NFL has acknowledged that the game is lacking and has changed the rules of the game, including a fantasy draft for each team. This game is still almost unwatchable, even with the players enjoying themselves and ending the regular season in sunny Hawaii, Arizona or Miami, Florida.

The NBA All-Star Game was actually fun to watch even up to a couple of years ago. But, recently, the game has been a joke. It is not enjoyable to watch these extremely talented athletes just sprint down the court and constantly score. The real excitement of basketball comes from tied games and tight defense. These two things look like they will never enter this game.  All I can ask is why would you watch this? Offense is nice, but step into a passing lane or something. These guys are getting paid millions of dollars and they should actually try to give the fans a show to watch. The atmosphere is awful with the fans either not interested or not even present, physically or mentally. This is another All-Star Game that needs to change.

If the NFL and NBA wanted to have their “Clash of the Titans” be more relevant, they should make the stakes higher. Add playoff implications, with the winner hosting the Super Bowl/NBA Finals. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NBA commissioner Adam Silver need to do something to keep me from falling asleep. Otherwise, you might as well just get rid of the contests altogether.

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