Cohen 8-Ball: Ways to Improve All-Star Saturday Night
February 18, 2013
Josh Cohen's Analysis: NBA All-Star Saturday night could use an all-around upgrade. CLICK NEXT to learn about seven different concepts that I think would help transfigure the event.
Cohen’s Analysis: While players may get concerned about damaging their reputations and nervous about the threat of a sudden injury, a one-on-one battle, particularly if the league’s elite participated, would be must-watch television. Envision LeBron vs. Durant, Kobe vs. Wade, Irving vs. Lillard, Duncan vs. Garnett. It would be the summit of sports entertainment for fans of all ages.
Cohen’s Analysis: While Blake Griffin’s leap over a KIA was electrifying two years ago, the real reason 2011’s event was a memorable slam-dunk contest was because that particular competition was just as much as about the “theater” as it was the dunks. Remember, each participant had a coach and stirred up the crowd before their prodigy delivered a jam. This contest needs to be more about show business than basketball. Props are imperative, personality is required and “soap opera storylines” are recommended.
Cohen’s Analysis: What would happen if there were a “rematch” of the 1995 NBA Finals between the Rockets and Magic today? Kind of like an old-timers game but with a far more intriguing component. It would be somewhat rousing if the starting fives of some of the classic teams that once played each other in the Finals competed again years later. If it truly was 1995 replayed, it would be pretty neat to watch Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, Kenny Smith, Robert Horry and Mario Elie battle against Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway, Nick Anderson, Dennis Scott and Horace Grant in a friendly exhibition.
Cohen’s Analysis: Forget East vs. West in Sunday’s All-Star Game. Let’s learn from the already-intriguing Rising Stars Challenge draft conducted by Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal. During All-Star Saturday night, there should be two notable “acting” general managers like NBA legends Magic Johnson and Larry Bird and they on the court carry out an All-Star draft to determine the teams for Sunday’s game. The anticipation for who will team up with whom and who the GM’s will pick at each slot will create a ton of thrill.
Cohen’s Analysis: It may seem rather silly at first thought, but I think the NBA can open up a more distinctive viewing audience by incorporating a “talent show” among the league’s elite. So for instance, staged like an American Idol several of the game’s best such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, etc. compete in a competition to show off their non-basketball skills. Whether it’s dancing, a comedy skit or imitations of their peers, there is enough interest in these guys and their personalities.
Cohen’s Analysis: One of the prevalent successes in television entertainment over the last decade has been the launch and innovation of music-oriented shows. Aside from the ever-popular American Idol, programs such as Dancing with the Stars, America’s Best Dance Crew and So You Think You Can Dance have been colossal triumphs. As a result, the suggestion to include a competition during All-Star Weekend that would allow some of the NBA Dance Teams to battle against each other in front of certified judges, an effervescent arena crowd and television viewers could be an instant hit.
Cohen’s Analysis: It was an unsuccessful experiment the first time around, but I still think there is room for a H.O.R.S.E. competition at All-Star Weekend. While Kevin Durant did participate and won in both of the years it existed (2009, 2010), he wasn’t the star that he is now. If only the league’s elite participated, there would be enough interest to see how creative these guys get.