The NBA All-Star weekend, held in Charlotte this year, a spectacular action-pact event hosted every year by the NBA. In addition to the All-Star game itself, the weekend included three-point and slam dunk contests, as well as a skills challenge, and rising stars and celebrity games.
The NBA uses All-Star Weekend to try new ways to to improve its ratings and grow its audience. For example, this year’s celebrity game the NBA has included former NBA and NFL athletes like Ray Allen and Steve Smith, performing artists such as Quavo, Bad Bunny and Rapsody, and TV celebrities like Mike Colter (“Luke Cage”) and Dr. Oz.
Carlos “Famous Los” Sanford, a 2008 graduate and 4 year participant of our men’s basketball program, won finals MVP at the All-STar Celebrity game. He scored 22 points on an efficient 62.5% field goal percentage.
For the second year in a row the NBA experimented with a new system for the All-Star game. Team captains picked their teams from the selected All-Stars, regardless of their conference. Carrying on this new system allows the teams to be more unpredictable, unexpected, and fun. Team captains LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo picked players from a list of All-Stars, regardless of conference affiliation. Jame’s team included Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden. Antetokounmpo’s team featured Stephen Curry, Joel Embiid, and Paul George.
“I picked according to who was the best available,” James told ESPN in a Feb. 9 interview.
This year the NBA allowed two NBA future hall of famers, Dirk Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade, to participate in the All-Star game despite not being selected during the original vote. Both players plan to retire after this season.
Last year the All-Star games ratings were down to 7.7 million views from 7.8 million. The NBA could potentially be trying to raise viewership to compete with the NFL and the Super Bowl ratings. The Super Bowl racked in 98.2 million views.