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All-Star Burnout?

CJ Dudek, Sports Columnist

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In between fantastic dunks, Chris Paul making Chris Bosh’s legs look like old western saloon doors, and Blake Griffin making fans beg for him to be in the dunk contest again, there was something missing from the game; you know, other than defense.

That’s it; the All-Star game was missing that unique relevance that makes the game matter.

It is not just in the NBA where the score has the same amount of worth as the points from Whose Line is it Anyway? None of the All-Star games have any relevance to the season.

Sure, baseball tried that whole ‘winner of the All-Star game gets home field advantage in the world series’ thing back in 2003 to make the game matter. By doing so, teams in baseball that win more games do not necessarily receive the deserved benefit of home field advantage in the most crucial series of the year.

Instead, some terrible pitch from the Kansas City Royals pitcher could ruin the Yankees shot at having home field in the World Series.

The NFL is considering completely getting rid of the Pro-Bowl all together because they know the players don’t try and most of them don’t even care about going.

Yet even though the games don’t matter, the spectacle draws well.

According to an article by broadcastingcable.com, a total of eight million people turned on TNT to watch the biggest names in basketball play the most anticipated pickup game of the year.

The pickup game mentality of the All-Star game makes all of the statistics funnier than anything Dane Cook has ever said. Entering the game, Kevin Durant had the chance to win consecutive All-Star MVP awards. This feat had not been accomplished in 30 years.

You can file that stat under the category of ‘nobody gives a flying fudge’ along with shooting percentage in hockey, wins above replacement in baseball, and total quarterback rating in football.

Seriously, USA Today.com wrote an article back in 2011 suggesting that Kobe Bryant could be the greatest All-Star gamer ever. Bryant owns the All-Star game record for starts, not to mention his four MVP awards. Naturally, the debate raged on about his performance in All-Star games compared to the best of the pickup games.

Being the greatest All-Star game player in league history is like Rihanna winning a teen choice award for her acting in Battleship: compared to the rest of their career accomplishments, this one wins the Oscar for most useless.

This is not saying that every All-Star weekend is completely without merit. The skills competitions in the NBA and NHL are quite entertaining to watch and the NBA slam-dunk contest can provide all of the dramatic moments fans want to see.

Bettman, Goodell, Selig, Stern – do your leagues a favor and scrap this All-Star crap. It is a flawed concept that no longer has a purpose to serve. There is good reason to believe that multi billion professional sports industries would survive purging the expenditures of a one-weekend flop-fest a year.

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