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Ball-Star Weekend: The Missing Ingredient

The All-Star break is a pivotal point in the NBA season. Players are rewarded with well-deserved rest and fans are offered a different way to consume the sport that they love. Unfortunately, there is one problem with All-Star Weekend: It doesn’t feature ALL the stars. It’s about time the fans got involved.

All too often, we the fans take for granted the levels of dedication, skill, and talent showcased on a nightly basis throughout the course of the season. Professional ballers are the best at their craft. In fact, they’re so good, that it seems like everything they do is with little effort and could be accomplished just as easily by a spectator.

We’ve all been guilty of, at one point or another, exhaling sharply through the nose and saying, “how did he miss that?! I could’ve made that!” I mean, how could we not? I’m sure, similarly to you, that if it weren’t for injuries (and definitely not the fact that I’m just an average basketball player) I would’ve gone to the NBA. Delusions of grandeur aside, the Pros really are a bunch of unicorns. Besides forcing our egos to take a back seat, how can we be reminded that we are witnessing greatness every time they take the floor?

The solution is simple: Give the fans a place in All-Star weekend. I’m not talking about the dunk contest, although after last night's showing, the fans might not be quite as bad in comparison. But the Three Point Contest? The Skills Challenge? Adding a fan or two, to compete with the Pros, would assuredly demonstrate just how good NBA players are, not to mention, make our egos think twice the next time we decide we “could’ve done that.”

I’m going to take it a step further. What if there was an event, let’s call it the Overly-Confident-Fan Contest, where four (un)lucky fans are pitted against two NBA All Stars in a half court match to twenty-one points. (We could even make it loser’s ball, to further the embarrassment.) I’d go out on a limb and guess that the final score would be 21-2, and that lonely basket would likely be a lucky one. Just imagine four 5’5” to 6’4” individuals going against two 6’6”+ behemoths. Is anyone else having flashbacks to playing ball in grade school? It would be like the two 99s at the park in 2k, playing against a bunch of first timers; I wonder if there would be any rage quitting.

These proposed additions would be instant fan favorites, at least for those watching. They would remind us all of how amazing the Pros are and renew our appreciation for being able to watch and, ultimately, be a part of it all.

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