Here's why the 2018 All-Star Game draft won't be broadcasted
ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 12, 2018 10:26 AM
2018 NBA All-Star logo
When the NBA announced that the teams for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game will be selected via a player draft, hoops fans everywhere by jazzed by the change in format.
In the past, players were grouped by conference, but with more superstars heading West in free agency and via trades, there was a growing sense that power was tilting too heavily to one side. Over the past 10 years, the West has won seven out of 10 times. That feeling was reinforced when guys like Jimmy Butler and Paul George were traded to West teams this past offseason.
So in the new format, fans as usual vote for who they want to see start the All-Star Game. The top vote-getter from each conference though will represent a squad, and then draft a squad from the other starters, and the reserves, who are selected by coaches.
The problem? The league has decided not to show this draft process, instead opting to just release the squad compositions on a special one-hour edition of TNT NBA Tip-Off.
The decision has drawn plenty of criticism from fans and members of the media, with many pointing out that the NHL televised similar All-Star Drafts in the past.
Prior to today's NBA Global Game London 2018, league commissioner Adam Silver was asked about not televising the draft, and this is what he had to say:
In terms of the new All-Star format, I’m very encouraged by it. I appreciate the fact that the players have embraced it. As I mentioned yesterday, it’s surprising there’s been so much focus on the draft because we thought, What an incredible accomplishment. We went to the Players Association, to Chris Paul, who is the president of the players’ union, and they were the first to say we need to create more excitement around this All-Star Game, so let’s instead of just having East play West, let’s pick teams, let’s mix the players up a little bit. We’re sure there will be an explosion of interest on social media not just by the fans but by the players who will be excited by these new combinations of players playing each other. It never even really was a focus as to whether the so-called draft of those players should be televised.
That, of course, has become an issue. I understand the sensitivity of the players. When you’re drafting teams, you’re drafting for the long term. When you’re choosing a team, you’re putting together a combination of players that make the most sense for that game. And so the order in which you pick those players isn’t necessarily representative of who the best players are in order, and we can understand how, though, then fans could look at that selection and there could be a sense of, Oh, I can’t believe that guy was picked fifth instead of first or second or whatever else.
I like the fact that people are talking about it and talking about the draft. I won’t be surprised that if all the media in this room, once those teams are selected, that you spend a lot of your time trying to get from the captains exactly who they picked in what order. Maybe there will be some fun around that. And maybe over time we can build on this concept and there will be a televised draft. But we’re pretty pleased with the starting point that we’re approaching it in a new way, and we’ll let the captains pick the teams and then we’ll go from there.
Barring any last-minute change, it looks like the NBA really won't be showing how the draft goes down. However, it's good to know that they're not closing the door entirely on the prospect, and perhaps as early as next season, things could go the other way.