In case you haven’t heard, it was announced yesterday that the NBA is revamping the structure of their All-Star weekend. More specifically, the “Rising Stars” or “Rookie vs Sophomore” event. Whichever one you like to call it. So, what are these changes, you might be asking?
Instead of just having it as a singular game as it has been since its inception, they have now decided to make it into a 3 game, 4 team tournament. 7 players will be on each squad, including for the first time ever, players from the NBA’s G-League Ignite Squad. Each game will have a target score (50 for the two semi final match ups, 25 for the final), which in my personal opinion honestly makes the event more exciting and captivating. Especially if the games end up being close and we get to a situation where one or two baskets are all that it takes to separate the teams. It also adds stakes to a game that is usually just seen as another game during the weekend.
I also really like the idea of incorporating the Ignite guys, as even in a format like this, it gives them an opportunity. A chance to showcase themselves and potentially “sell” what they can provide to a prospective team on the court. Enabling them to go up against players that have begun to establish themselves in the league will do wonders for them, which in turn will only help their development. Enable them to discover just what they should be working on in order to truly refine their game and enhance their draft stock. Yes, it might not be the most serious of settings, however, any chance you get to go up against that caliber of opponent is one you should be taking. It also serves as a chance to pick their brains and acquire knowledge that you can use back with the Ignite whilst acquiring an understanding of what it takes to make it. What it takes to be able to perform in front of a crowd larger than anything you’ve likely played in front of prior to this. To them, this experience is invaluable.
The other change to the format of the game is that between Games 2 and 3, there will be an exhibition event of sorts where 4 teams composed of 2 players each will be essentially replicating famous NBA playoff shots. A fun little event designed to recreate “clutch” moments that have happened in the past and a celebration of the 75 years the NBA has been in existence. What is there not to love about that? I mean, it’s something I’m sure that we have all done at one point or another whether it be at the YMCA or at home. Players are no different in that regard, so I’m sure they’ll enjoy doing this just as much as we’ll enjoy watching it. If I’m being totally honest, I want the dunk contest to do something similar with famous dunks from past contests. If for no other reason but it’d be fun and allow those who weren’t able to or haven’t seen the previous shots (or dunks) to at least gain an understanding of what occurred.
So, who will be the 4 Ignite players involved in this event? We don’t know for sure at this point, but rumors according to anonymous sources are stating that MarJon Beauchamp, Jalen Hardy, Michael Foster and Dyson Daniels are going to be the participants. If this is indeed what ends up being the case, then I wish them all the best. Hopefully, they make the most of this opportunity. I honestly cannot wait to see this unfold and am more hyped than I would otherwise be for the tournament. That’s all I wanted to talk about for now, so let us know what you think of the new format and if it’s got you anticipating the games during All Star weekend.