How To Fix NBA All Star Weekend

This weekend the NBA All Star Game brings together the most popular (not the best) players in the league, a bonanza of sponsorship deals, and 20 hours of useless television coverage. This is truly a corporate retreat run awry. I should not have to listen Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith reflect on their careers as professional basketball players for hours on end just to watch a few events that should take a little more than an two hours to complete.

The pre-All Star game event schedule is simply too crowded. They include the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge, the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest, the Foot Locker Three Point Shootout, the Playstation Skills Challenge, and Horse. The freaking names are too long and they include too many young players that nobody outside of their home city cares about.

The first step to fixing this log jam is by eliminating rookie challenge and the skills challenge. This leaves the dunk contest, the three point shoot out, and Bill Simmons’ favorite, Horse.

The Slam Dunk contest needs big names to matter. That means that if you cannot start on an NBA team you do not get to participate. Also, if Sprite wants to continue to sponsor the event the player they are using to pimp their product must participate. That means LeBorn James would be under contractual obligation to wow the crowd.

The rest of the field should include past winners and players who consistently appear on ESPN highlights. That means Dwight Howard, Vince Carter, and Dwayne Wade should fill out the competition. With all apologies to the rookies and pint sized New York Knicks guard Nate Robinson (he needed like 30 dunks to win it, sorry Knicks fan he’s a no go) should watch it from the sidelines. Nobody can deny that would be an unbelievable group of names and would triple the ratings.

The next event, the three point contest would be tweaked. Instead of current players who can stroke it, former players turned GMs would play to save their jobs. That means this years field would include Steve Kerr of the mind boggling disastrous Phoenix Suns, John Paxson of the lost and confused Chicago Bulls, Joe Dumars of the falling Detroit Pistons, and Mike Dunleavy of the simply terrible Los Angeles Clippers would round out the field.

I think watching these guys shoot in desperation for their jobs would be entertaining and cathartic. The winner would get to keep there job for another season while the other three would have to face the ax after the season was over.

The game of Horse would be between Michael Jordan and Larry Bird every year until one of them is unable to support themselves in an upright position. The winner would get a Big Mac.

Thank you YoutTube and nigrigsjb for keeping priceless memories alive

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The Brett Favre Rule (Formerly the Michael Jordan Rule)

Before baseball season begins it has become tradition to wait for Brett Favre to decide whether or not he will retire. Word is in that he has decided to retire. Of course, we all remember that last season he told his agent the same thing. Then he found that he could still throw the ball around with some zip with a bunch of high school kids, decided to comeback, and cause the Packers a gigantic headache, sabotaging Aaron Rodgers transition into the starting quarterback role.

Michael Jordan used to do this with the Washington Wizards at the beginning of the century. The waiting game probably helped lead the Wiz down the road to mediocrity, that and Gilbert “Injured List” Arenas. The lesson seems to be clear. Never begin an offseason be showing a willingness to appease an aging superstar. I do not care how many jerseys they sell or how much the owner thinks the player can actually help their team.

Sports legends have a difficult time letting go of the game and sports fans have a hard time imagining the game without them. But after five years of Brett Favre threatening to retire for good and years of Michael Jordan wanting to leap out of the owners’ box (where he makes terrible decisions) and onto the court we should all learn that letting a legend go is like a heart-felt breakup. It is difficult, but it must be done.

With that said, I have a request for every high school football team, every junior high team, and every Pop Warner team. If you see Favre walking toward your pickup game, run. Run away. Save professional teams the drama and refuse to play with him. If he completes one pass he is liable to try and make a comeback. If you cannot run away and he has to play then his team should lose badly. Remind him of this last season when he did not make the playoffs after blowing it hard with a 1-4 finish.

Sports fans should be concentrating on catching up on college basketball to better fill out their bracket for March Madness. They should be watching NBA basketball during the weeknights. They should be waiting to get Red Sox tickets to Fenway or Cubs bleacher seats to Wrigley.

Fan should be trying to think of tasteless jokes and taunts to scream from the stands as A-Fraud takes the plate for the New York Yankees. If they must think about football, that thought should be about the draft or a free agent.