McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

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2024 NBA All Star game disappoints fans again

The events surrounding the weekend saw weak viewership again, and again begs the overall importance of all All star games in professional sports
Stacy Revere / Getty Images / TNS)
Karl-Anthony Towns (32) of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Western Conference All-Stars dunks the ball against the Eastern Conference All-Stars in the third quarter during the 2024 NBA All-Star Game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024, in Indianapolis.

The annual NBA all star weekend was held from Feb. 16-18 in Indianapolis this NBA season. The game featured 24 of the best players in the league, ranging from veterans Kevin Durant to young superstars Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Anthony Edwards. But this year the game received a lot of negative reviews from not only other players but sports news outlets as well.

There are several events that go into all star weekend, such as the three point contest, slam dunk contest, rising stars game, and even a skills competition. These events used to be a big reason why fans tuned in to the weekend, because it consisted of a fun atmosphere with a competitive nature. This particular All star weekend upset a lot of fans particularly in the dunk contest and the game itself, due to the lack of heart and care that the events used to have.

The game concluded with an Eastern Conference victory of 211-186 over the opposing Western Conference, the Eastern conference’s score of 211 is the most ever scored in a recorded NBA All Star game and in the league in general, the lack of defense in the game combined with the players not seeming to put any effort into the game has many fans upset and deeming it “unwatchable”.

According to CBS, “The NBA season is long enough, and this is supposed to be a week off,” writer Brad Botkin explained. “The players treat it as such, at least to the degree they can, while still having to be on location and do all the press and actually put their shoes on for the game. Still, it’s [The Game] is a joke… there wasn’t one second of competition.”

While the game had it’s clear flaws in the new “Modern NBA”, the dunk contest was the worst it has been in years according to most, and consisted of rookies and players who surprised fans they were even there for dunking.

Mac McCung ultimately won the contest for a second year in a row and does not even play in the NBA, he plays for the team’s G-League or “minor league affiliate” Osceola Magic. Most fans’ issues came from the fact that the contest used to compromise of big name players who were known for their athletic dunking ability, and this year it seemed that the players had run out of ideas for the contest and were not known very well around the league by fans, in a contest known for its novelty.

According to Clutch Points, “NBA stars are no longer participating in the event, and because of that, it simply isn’t very entertaining anymore. Back in the day when Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon were trading highlight dunks, NBA fans loved to watch the contest. Now, no one wants to do it anymore, and a dunk over a 5’3” person sitting down somehow warrants the best score of a round. It’s unfortunate to see.”

The NBA is not the only professional sports league seeing a decline in its all star games. The MLB, NHL, even the NFL have also seen sharp declines in viewership, partly due to the ways that we consume sports television. Due to increased networks in all sports leagues, fans are less interested in tuning into all star games due to them not holding importance to fans anymore because they aren’t “starved” to watch sports events.

According to New York Magazine, “Dennis Deninger, a professor of sports media at Syracuse University who worked as a production executive at ESPN for 25 years, said in a phone interview that all-star games were more relevant ‘in an era when we didn’t have expanded playoffs, regional sports networks, 24-hour sports networks, and each league having their own network.”’

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