Apparently NBA commissioner Adam Silver thinks the answer to a borderline irrelevant, bloated regular season is to create a tournament inside of it and to spare no expense to make basketball courts as psychedelic as humanly possible.
At the inaugural NBA in-season tourney, the courts touched every extreme of the color spectrum. Now we’re about to get next level for All-Star Weekend at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Per the NBA’s official announcement on Monday, the touchstone events such as the Slam Dunk Contest, 3-point shootout and others will feature a full LED court as part of the eye candy.
NBA UNVEILS STATE-OF-THE-ART LED COURT FOR ALL-STAR 2024 EVENTS TAKING PLACE AT LUCAS OIL STADIUM
Is this supposed to incentivize people to tune in? At least for me, it acts as more of a deterrent. I haven’t been excited about the dunk contest since Aaron Gordon and Zach LaVine went head-to-head in 2016. LeBron James and many of the game’s biggest superstars have spurned that particular competition for reasons unknown, likely of the egoic variety. And it’s a shame. No more Michael Jordan dunking from the free throw line theatrics like there used to be.
Who knows? Maybe Silver is trying to capitalize on the nationwide explosion of legal recreational marijuana sales, and figures if people are bored during All-Star Weekend, they may just light up a J, or chomp an edible, and tune in to the engrossing hardwood light show. That’s the only way I can make much sense of this.
The decline of cable and proliferation of cord-cutting has certainly hurt the NBA more than the NFL. Football is just king. That’s the way it is. It’s sad that there’s never been as much skill and talent — particularly via international players — in the NBA than there is right now, yet the league can’t figure out how to market their stars. Thus, they’re just riding out LeBron for all he’s worth until he’s finished playing, and don’t really have a contingency plan in place beyond that. Resorting to gimmicky courts is what the NBA has stooped to. It’s hard for me to make much sense of it.
ICYMI when the in-season tournament happened and LeBron’s Lakers won, you’d do well to be able to watch more than a quarter at a time. The disorienting visuals detracted from the actual viewing experience of basketball players racing up and down the court. Very easy to get dizzied and punch-drunk in the eyeballs by it all.
No. Just no. Ope. The NBA is tripling down on custom courts for All-Star Weekend. It’s too late. It’s happening. Prayers up for their latest round of TV ratings. The All-Star Game itself features practically zero defense and has become what the NFL’s Pro Bowl was before resorting to flag football and other skills challenges.
I don’t feel like I’m out of pocket saying all this. Those who felt compelled enough to respond directly to the NBA’s announcement shared a lot of the same feelings about the LED monstrosity that’s about to deface a perfectly fine basketball court. I’m convinced the people who are in favor of the initiative are burner accounts.