Sunday , Dec , 07 , 2008 Oly Sandor

Satisfying The Yis and The Lebrons: Team USA versus The World saves NBA All-Star Game

But Commissioner Stern has options. The suits at head office should try a Team USA versus the world game. This works for three reasons. First, it generates much-needed interest by making the sloppy Sunday afternoon run meaningful. Second, fans could see more of the elite players because GMs and coaches could vote for rosters like they currently do with the reserves. Third, and most importantly, it plays to the much-coveted global audience …

Satisfying The Yis and The Lebrons: Team USA versus The World saves NBA All-Star GameBreaking NBA news mixed with analysis …

Their News: The first All-Star voting results will be released Thursday, with a potential issue at the forefront. Second-year New Jersey forward Yi Jianlian could be aided strongly by votes from his native China as he competes for one of the two starting Eastern Conference forward spots with superstars Kevin Garnett and LeBron James.

If Yi is not voted in as an All-Star, the budding big man has no chance of the East coaches voting him in as a reserve. But when the reserves are revealed for the Feb. 15 game in Phoenix, there could be a lot of new blood. (Boston Globe linked to CNNSI Fan Nation)

My Very Quick Analysis: There are two differing schools of thought on the NBA All-Star game. Some believe fans should vote-in the players they want. And some believe the game should honour the league’s top talent.

There is no common ground. Fair-weather fans happily vote for a favourite like Yi, while purists complain that premier players, like LeBron James, aren’t getting enough respect. Bottom line: a league party or celebration often feels compromised.

Commissioner Stern has options. The suits at head office should try a Team USA versus the world game. This works for three reasons. First, it generates much-needed interest by making the sloppy Sunday afternoon run meaningful. Second, fans could see more of the elite players because GMs and coaches could vote for rosters like they currently do with the reserves. Third, and most importantly, it plays to the much-coveted global audience.

This idea isn’t perfect. The NBA must experiment because, right now, few are happy with the  All-Star game format.

How would you fix All-Star Weekend? Get at us with thoughts and return to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA Tidbits. Photo courtesy of The 700Level.