Year in and year out the NBA All-Star weekend and all its festivities lack the excitement, intensity, and competitiveness of regular season games. While this year the dunk contest was one of the more exciting dunk contests in recent memory, overall the weekend as a whole was not that great.
Something that could draw a little more attention to the All-Star weekend, is a one-on-one tournament. A popular topic that comes about in sports media is asking the question “who is the best player in the NBA?” Who would be the “Mt. Rushmore” of the NBA? The one-on-one tournament would allow players and fans to see who actually the best player in the league is.
A tournament like this would be hard to start but would be one of the most watched events of the All-Star break. First, you must determine how it would be played, second you would have to get people to play and finally it would have to become a tradition.
Creating the Tournament
Fans would vote the 10 best players into the one-on-one tournament, or you could just take the top 10 players who earn the most votes into the actual All-Star Game. Obviously a lot of the big names would back down out of the challenge, but in a couple years it would become a place where players can assert their dominance. Games in the tournament could be to first to 11 points and the championship game could be played at halftime of the All-Star Game.
Convincing the Stars to Play
The easiest and most convincing way to get players is to make the prize bigger. Obviously these players do not need more money, but if the winner of the tournament took home a $1 million, then players would be all over it. The NBA would be spending a decent chunk of change on the tournament, however they would be making much more off the hype the tournament would generate.
Basketball and non-basketball fans alike would flock to watch the games in the tournament. You could finally get some sort of understanding who the best basketball player is when it comes to one-on-one. One problem is that it would take a couple years for the actual stars, like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Steph Curry to come out and play.
Building a Tradition
After the first couple tournaments rolled by, the second tier of pros that actually agreed to play in the tournament would begin to praise themselves and talk trash about how great they are. This would then get the elite of the NBA fired up to join the tournament and then you would have a tournament of the NBA’s best. This would start the trend of the league’s best coming in and putting their skills to the test. One-on-one games are all about humiliating your opponent with huge crossovers and monster dunks. Embarrassing your opponent would then push the players even more and lead to more competition. This tournament could be the most watched event during the NBA All-Star weekend.