This NBA off-season has been crazy to say the least. All-Star players like Chris Paul, Paul George, Kyrie Irving, and Carmelo Anthony have been traded to other teams, and the President publicly called out Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors for their reluctance to visit the White House after winning their second title in three years. On top of that, two major rule changes have been approved by Commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA’s Board of Governors. First, changes were made to the lottery format to dissuade teams from tanking during the regular season. Next, the All-Star Game was changed from the traditional East vs. West format to a selection process that will be elaborated on later.
The changes made to the lottery process will even out the odds for the number one overall pick. Previously, the team with the worst record in the regular season would receive a 25% chance to land the top pick and could only fall to number four. Now, the three worst records will all have a 14% chance to land the top pick, and the team with the worst record could fall all the way to five. As mentioned above, these changes were put into motion to prevent bad teams from losing on purpose to increase their chance of landing the top pick. On top of that, the Board of Governors voted to allow Silver to fine teams that violate the new rules regarding resting healthy players. Teams can be fined up to $100,000 for resting healthy players for high-profile, nationally televised games. The rules also state that teams should not rest multiple healthy players for the same game or rest any healthy players when playing on the road.
All-Star Selection Process
The NBA All-Star game has been a joke for years. It is the least competitive All-Star event in professional sports. Yes, even worse than the Pro Bowl. Scores soar to above 150 and sometimes reach close to 200 in these games. There is no defense played, which is sad because these are the best basketball players in the world. It is hard for a commissioner to convince players to play harder in a game that means nothing, but one thing the league’s leaders can do is try to make it more exciting. Starting this season, the top two vote-getters will be elected as captains. Voting will remain the same, in the sense that each conference will receive the same number of All-Star nominees; however, the captains will pick their teams. This provides excitement for both the players and fans, because teammates can now face off against one another. We could see LeBron James team up with Kevin Durant. We could also see Draymond Green guarding Durant in the very same game. It remains to be seen whether this will create more buzz around All-Star weekend, but it definitely doesn’t hurt to try something new.