The NBA All-Star game will never be confused as a hotly contested game. The game is there for the best players in the world to put on a show for the fans. Mostly, it’s just a time for players to relax and have a good time. And it’s usually treated as such; fans hardly get disappointed with the experience.
Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat talked about that with our own Phillip Barnett about how the NBA All-Star game usually goes. It’s a mix of both fun and competition, according to the nine-year veteran from Marquette University.
“Well, you kind of feel it out in the first half. In the second half, there’s an opportunity to win a game, guys go for it. It always picks up in the second half, and that’s what the fans love. Well, the fans love both — they like to see their favorite players get out and do some unique things. Then they love when the competition kind of heats up and the guys get out there and try to win the game.”
And that’s what it is: a show. It’s entertainment. In the first half, players do their thing whether it’s a dribbling exhibition or aerial acrobatics. For some first-time all-stars, they seem to be a little more nervous and don’t want to look like fools playing with all-star veterans.
But the action does get heated up if the game is tight in the second half. Like Wade said, guys go for it. But in the end, it’s all a show for the fans and the NBA is very good at doing that. You won’t see dunks off the backboard like Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter did in regular season games. You won’t see players play one-on-one and guys getting out of the way like in the 1992 NBA All-Star game. And you definitely won’t see players taking charges in All-Star games.
The only conundrum really is for the coaches. They have to get everyone in the game and then if the game is tight, they actually have to play the best five on the court. And all of those players have egos as they are used to being first or second options. For the players not to play during crunchtime is strange for them.
At least, Wade admitted to something that has been the worst kept secret in All-Star Weekend.