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Saturday, April 20, 2024

All-Star Game has been broken for years but the party was real

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Danny Bridges
Danny Bridges

Now that the dust has settled and things at Gainbridge Fieldhouse and Lucas Oil Stadium are back to normal, it’s time to call the NBA All-Star Game exactly what those who truly understand the game of basketball have known forever.

It’s an exhibition and without question a complete and utter failure that needs to be taken away from those who have no problem continuing this obvious  masquerade while turning a  rather robust profit to boot.

It’s simply a party for the rich and famous and while there may of been a few mutts like myself allowed in, the bash itself was exclusively reserved for the beautiful people and no others.

The overhyped fashion in which this “contest” is billed annually makes this old scribe shake his head as he thinks back to the days in which hard nose defense and old fashioned hustle was always on display the entire evening, and it met something to every player who graced the hardwood with the respect and dignity that those who came before them demonstrated. 

Alas, those indeed were the days, when families could afford to attend without taking out a home equity loan and blue collar people could get access to their favorite players who were giving it all for the entire forty-eight minutes and putting on a basketball game versus a television production riddled with music, elaborate light shows, and overpriced merchandise for sale in every corner of the arena.

Simply put this elaborate scam needs to be put out of its misery by the owners and quickly, before anyone else has to endure this appalling facsimile of a game. 

Just cut bait and run on this current debacle, and in the process perhaps the restoration of even a microcosm of real basketball is accomplished in a semi-meaningful fashion. 

For the record many of the parties and not- for-profit endeavors surrounding this tragedy of a game were meaningful in terms of raising both money and awareness, and after all there’s nothing wrong with spreading the wealth and having a great time doing it.

While they’re needs to be more fan accessibility to certain affairs by virtue of affordable ticket prices, there was a ton of meaningful objectives fulfilled here locally and despite being associated with a total farce of a basketball game, many people did benefit from the sincere generosity bestowed on the city.

There were a ton of free meals distributed and other essential services provided so perhaps the true All-Stars were the ones behind the scenes and not the ones on the playing court.

Again, it’s perfectly fine for all the Saturday Night festivities to continue but the game itself was a global embarrassment and needs to be taken off life support and allowed to perish quietly.

I can’t imagine imagine anyone missing it and while Rick Fuson and his entire staff at Pacers Sports and Entertainment, along with the entire city of Indianapolis did a fabulous job, we must all agree that the NBA players left a stinch behind with that excuse for a basketball game and everyone who paid to get in last Sunday deserves a refund and an apology.

Overtime: The undisputed highlight of the weekend had to be LeBron James embracing Oscar Robertson before the game. James has always respected those who made sacrifices so players today wouldn’t have to make compromises. The real question is where were his teammates when he was paying tribute to the legendary Big-O?

The All-Star Game itself aired in over 215 countries hence my previous reference to global embarrassment. Much of that audience was able the Saturday night festivities as well.  I have to wonder if they felt as short changed as l did and remember, l got in to the sideshow for free.

Danny Bridges who would like to thank Paige Snitker, of the NBA League Operations and International Communications Office for all the resources granted to me, can be reached at (317) 370-8447 or at bridgeshd@aol.com

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