I think it’s fair to say being a Commissioner of any sport isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The pay may be great however the criticism these guys face on a daily basis is persistent. Also, many times justified when you look at guys like Roger Goodell and Gary Bettman in their respective sports. But if you fuck up or even your sport fucks up in anyway you take on that blame. You’re the chief in command and have to deal with all the issues your sport faces. Adam Silver is the commissioner of the NBA and man did last night’s all-star game show what type of commissioner he is.
It’s no secret to anyone the NBA All-Star game has been straight trash. There is absolutely no defense played due to the lack of effort by the players. Adam Silver realized this was a problem that was continuing to get worse evident in the 192-182 win by the West last year. It’s been clearly lopsided as well with the West winning 6 of the last 7 due to the abundance of talent compared to the East. This off-season Silver changed the broken system to a format where the top two vote-getters draft their own teams. This year the top two were LeBron James and Stephen Curry. Two players that aren’t exactly the beset of friends. The hope was the competitive nature of these two players and desire to win would help them draft the best team possible and compete to WIN!
What we saw last night was that coming to fruition. Team LeBron beat Team Stephen 148-145 with LeBron James winning MVP accumulating 29 points.Yes, this would be considered a high score for a normal NBA game, but certainly not for an All-Star Game. A combined 84 points fewer than last year is absolutely astonishing. That shows how much more the players gave a fuck. Silver also upped the winning team’s payment per player to $100,000 which doesn’t break the bank for a lot of these guys but still, it can’t hurt.
The fourth quarter was intense, Team LeBron recovered from a 13 point deficit in an intense battle. You could tell players took it personally and locked down on defense to get back into the game. We had emotion shown by players like Russel Westbrook after an and one late in the game on his new nemesis Joel Embid. And to finish the game we had a defensive stop for the win! How many times has that been said in recent memory about an All-Star Game ending? Fucking never that’s how many. Here it was if you missed it…
How do you not fucking love that? KD and LeBron locking up to prevent Steph Curry and Demar DeRozan from getting up a game-tying 3. You see LeBron throwing his hands up like he just won his fourth NBA title yet it’s just the All-Star Game. Team LeBron is hyped and Team Steph is pissed, that’s the way sports should be. The winners are ecstatic and overcome with emotion and the losers are disgruntled in their defeat. As you can see above the announcers right away acknowledged the new format helped and the players reiterated those sentiments in their press conferences as well. Steph and LeBron had conference calls on how to make sure their players played with a purpose and boy did we see that and then some.
I don’t wanna hear shit from people saying the format didn’t help. The Western Conference is so stacked this game would have been a joke from start to finish. It not only leveled the playing field but Steph verse LeBron is a rivalry that has been going for the past three years. These guys don’t like to lose, especially to one another. That fire only helped the competitive nature of the game.
So Adam Silver is a genius. Just for the sole fact that he fixes problems his sport incurs, unlike most commissioners. The NBA will in the next ten years take over the NFL due to his leadership and Rogers lack-off at some point. Some NBA critics and fans still say that they should get rid of Conferences for the NBA playoffs since the West is so much stronger. But guess what?? Adam Silver is already doing his due diligence and strongly looking into the possibility of Conference-less basketball with seeding from 1-16. In a society and culture where we are so quick to point the finger and say “you fucked up.” On behalf of our game Adam Silver, job well done my friend.