I’m watching the NBA all star game right now as I’m writing this. It’s somewhat exciting. In comparison to other professional sport leagues version of the NBA all star game, it’s pretty good. For the most part they are able to play basketball similar to how they would if it was just a standard NBA game. With that said, the players clearly dont take it very seriously and you can tell based on their effort that both teams dont care a whole lot about actually winning the game. They constantly jack up low percentage deep threes, they dont compete for rebounds, and they put minimal to zero effort on defense. It’s still somewhat exciting to watch because it’s the worlds best basketball players all on the same court playing the game their the absolute best at. I think this game has a lot of potential. If the players actually took it seriously, and played with an urgency to win, it could be just as exciting to watch as the NBA finals. It would be the absolute highest level of competition possible in basketball. The amazing matchups that would you would see, the highest level of scoring , defense, rebounding all put on display on one court to decide which conference could put together the more effective team. I cant even imagine how exciting that would be. Seeing the elite of the elite of any sport all compete together is very rare in any sport. With the lack of physicality in todays NBA, the all star game could be played competitively with little risk of injury. NBA athletes play up to 82 games in the regular season alone, how much would they really be risking by competing hard for one more game? The level of excitement generated from this game actually being competitive, far negates any heightened risk of injury from one single game. Don’t get me wrong, I dont blame the players for not competing hard. That’s not what this is about. Why would the players want to risk injury for a game that means virtually nothing? The players clearly dont have any real incentive to compete hard in the all star game because they clearly dont compete hard in the all star game. They hand out a trophy and the winner gets money donated to their charity and all that, but its not enough. There’s a number of ways the NBA could provide more incentive for winning the all star game. The best way to do it, I think, would be to make the result of the all star game impact the ratio of home and away games between the east and west teams for the remainder of the regular season. If home court percentage between east and west teams is equal, make it so that the winning conference gets 75% of games played against the opposing conference to be played at home, for the second half of the season. You would want a potential increase or decrease in home games large enough to motivate players, but not enough to necessarily drastically impact the results of the season. Even players who aren’t on teams capable of competing in the playoff’s would have large incentive to want more home games. Less road games means less travel time, meaning more rest, more time with their families. This would have an impact on every single player that participates in the all star game. And for for players on the top NBA teams, it would provide an edge in who has home court advantage in the finals due to the advantage their conference would have in the regular season against teams of the opposing conference. The NBA all star game is cool, but it’s not exciting because it’s not competitive. It’s like watching the best boxers in the world casually spar versus actually fight. It’s more of a scrimmage than an actual game. This proposal might seem drastic, but I am sick of seeing a game with so much potential be so disappointing. The entire point of professional sports is to be exciting, make the all star game more exciting. Make the players want to compete.