The NBPA was heavily involved in changing the format of the NBA All-Star Game and, according to reports, it was NBPA president Chris Paul and the famously competitive Michael Jordan at the center of it all. While LeBron James does not appear to be fully involved in that particular tweak, the NBPA vice president did speak to the media on Monday and the changes were one of the topics.
Dave McMenamin of ESPN brings word from LeBron, who felt as if the players and owners “had to do something” to make the game better.
“I don’t see it as a bad idea. We had to do something. The All-Star Game has been pretty bad the last couple years just from a competition standpoint. Trying to switch it up. Just like how the dunk contest was at one point it was great, then it wasn’t so well, so they had to kind of switch it up. Then it got good, then it got bad and you switch it up again. You see what happens. It’s hard to say if it’s good or bad yet. We haven’t done it yet. February isn’t here yet so no one knows how good or how bad it’s going to be. But I like the change. Why not?”
It comes as no surprise that James would feel this way, especially considering all of the comments from players after the catastrophe that was the 2017 edition. It should be noted that it isn’t as if James is screaming in endorsement of the specific changes (“Why not?” doesn’t qualify as that) but a player of James’ stature, both in the league and on the NBPA executive committee, likely could have squashed the changes if he wanted to.
As LeBron notes, February is a long way out and the majority of the focus is on the impending start of the regular season. Still, it is always a good thing when the best (and most visible) player in the league supports a change that could be important in promoting the Association.