The Student News Site of Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School

The General Consensus

The Student News Site of Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School

The General Consensus

The Student News Site of Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School

The General Consensus

All-Star Snooze-fest: The Diminishing Competitiveness of the NBA’s Midseason Showcase


As the 2024 NBA All-Star game wrapped up on the night of February 18th, the Eastern Conference defeated the West, with the final score a whopping 211 to 186. 

Those who did not watch the game might be thinking, almost 200 points scored by each team? That must have been exciting to watch!

This could not be further from the truth.

Boston Celtics shooting guard Jaylen Brown commented on the game afterward in a press conference. “That wasn’t basketball,” he said, “that was just highlights and layups and jump shots. Probably just two foul calls the entire game.”

Brown is exactly right. While the game consisted of the 24 best basketball players in the world, the players put no effort in at either side of the floor, leading to a disappointing and unfulfilling matchup up, hucking up three-pointers and wide-open dunks and layups. 

That wasn’t basketball, that was just highlights and layups and jump shots.

— Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics shooting guard

The All-Star game hasn’t always been like this. The 2001 game finished with a final score of 110-111, as Allen Iverson led the East to an impossible fourth-quarter comeback.

Comparing the scores of the 2024 and 2001 All-Star games, it’s clear that something drastic has changed. No, it wasn’t the offense getting that much better. Rather, it’s the fact that there was high-intensity defense being played in 2001, while defense in this year’s game was pretty much non-existent. 

Kobe Bryant, a 15-time NBA All-Star, dictated his opinion as a guest on the Knuckleheads podcast in 2019: “I think the All-Star Game in general needs a little revamping because it used to be competitive, and fans want to see the best pick-up game in the world… they don’t want to see you running up and down and dunking.”

Bryant, who took part in many high-intensity All-Star games, identifies how the game has changed from his era. Players have become too relaxed, leading to a boring watch for the audience.

Supporters of the current style of the All-Star game believe players should not be putting in all their effort. Injuries during the game could result in damaging the rest of the season for them and their team.

Furthermore, despite its critics, All-Star weekend is still highly profitable. The 2022 NBA All-Star weekend in Cleveland had a total economic impact of $250 million on Northeast Ohio. 

However, viewership of the game has declined almost 50% since 2003, from 10.8 million to 5.5 million in 2024.

A 49% decrease in NBA All-Star game viewership from 2003-2024, via Statista

The NBA must make a change to bring back viewers and increase the approval rating of the game.

Players should be incentivized to try harder. One way of doing this would be to award home-court advantage in the NBA finals to the winning conference, East or West. The MLB utilized this strategy from 2003 to 2016 in an effort to produce higher-intensity games.

Others on the internet suggest giving money to the winning players. However, this incentive would not affect the All-Stars’ effort levels, as most of them are already making tens of millions a year.

If you want the NBA All-Star game to change, voice your opinion on social media and sign and share this petition.

Whether you’re a passionate fan of the game, an occasional viewer, or a stranger to the NBA, the revamped All-Star Game demands attention. We can not settle for the game that has been consumed by a plague of mediocracy, undermining the once-beloved competition. 

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About the Contributor
Max Clarke, Student Journalist
Max Clarke is a senior at Hamilton Wenham High School and is a staff writer for The Generals Consensus. Always having been interested in journalism, Max decided to take the class and write for the newspaper his senior year. He is a member of DECA, the ping pong club, and the tennis team. He enjoys going to the gym, making videos, and spending time with friends and his dog. Max is planning to attend Villanova next year with a major in Marketing and a minor in media production.

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