What if you went to a basketball game and nobody played, but you still had to pay for your ticket? That is what you get with the NBA all star game, the NBA is in trouble, Stern just does not see the slump coming. Given how the game is played today, if I had paid as much as I did, I would ask for a refund.
The All Star game has become a joke, it is like walking into Subway, order a foot long roast beef, and only get one inch, but still pay the 12 inch price. The game is just a bunch of players goofing around for 3 1/2 quarters and then turns into a six or seven minute real game. What is the point of the game? Who would want to watch or pay to a game that nobody takes seriously or professionally? If there is no incentive, the players will not take the chance the size of the contracts today.
The All Star game is a hint of another possible issue in the NBA today, the seriousness of how the game is played in the regular season. The regular season games are starting to become only 8-10 minute games. Players are starting to not take the first three quarters seriously because they know if the score reasonably close, either team can win in the end.
This is starting to be recognized by the fans, nobody gets into the game for the first third quarters. For ticket holders, it is more about the other entertainment around the stadium than the game itself. For people watching on TV, you can turn the game on about two and a half hours after the tipoff just in time for the players to kick it up a notch and watch the ending of a close game. To sum it up, the first three quarters do not counter for anything. If you are only getting 1/4 the product you are expecting, then why go? The regular season game is too long today, four 12 minute quarters is too longer along with the TV and normal timeouts.
The college game excels for three reasons. 1) Two 20 minute half’s, less is more. There is less time to not have your head in the game. 2) Plays that occur in the beginning of the game can affect the end of the game. You can not skip most of the game in college and expect to understand how the game ended up the way it did. 3) Players care about playing from start to finish. Players know if you do not try in the start of the game, you will not be close in the final 5 minutes of the game.
The NBA game has become too different and confusing from the college game. Too many rules that seem to be changing everyday and they seem to favor the “Chosen” teams. Some the rules that are tainting the watch ability of the NBA game are:
- Mid-Level cap exception, just set a salary cap and the teams can not go over that number
- Defensive Three Seconds
- Backcourt Foul Exceptions
- Clear Path Fouls
- Lack of Traveling enforcement
- Too many timeouts
- No five second guarding rule – This has stopped all kind of passing
In summary, the All Star game is pushing the issues of the league to the front, nobody is taking the NBA game seriously, people rather watch a whole college game rather than a quarter of a NBA game and it will be a matter of time before fans notice and spend their money elsewhere.