NBA All-Star Game ripped for lack of defense after record total


    There’s no “D” in NBA All-Star Game.
    Sunday’s marquee contest that featured a record 397 combined points — including a record 211 by the winning Eastern Conference — received criticism by media and fans alike for featuring the defensive intensity displayed on the second night of a back-to-back in Charlotte in February (sorry, Hornets fans).
    “That was dreadful. Again. I am beginning to think this game is irredeemable,” The Athletic’s David Alridge tweeted. “I am not sure why even minimal defense effort is beyond this generation of All-Stars. But it may be time to end this game if they can’t give more of a damn than that.”
    LeBron James drives by Bam Adebayo. AP
    While the NBA has pushed for its midseason game to become more competitive like it used to be, Sunday’s game only fueled the fire that perhaps the current version of the game is doomed.
    Sure, it’s fun to see these great players — and potential Hall of Famers — all share the same court at the same time, but seeing them go through the motions takes away a little of the luster.
    There is always a comparison between different eras of the NBA but here are the total points scored in each of the last 10 years: 397 (2024); 318 (2014); 268 (2004); 245 (1994).
    There’s a clear trend that is alienating some.
    “Once again, these NBA stars are showing no respect for the game. It’s another Dunkarama and 3-point farce,” longtime Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan tweeted. “Not a single hand in anyone’s face. I’ll see how TCM is doing. See you next year. What a waste of time. Adam, you must do something. It’s embarrassing for your sport.
    Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated poked fun at the early mention of “defense” on the TNT broadcast.
    Tweeted Mannix: “‘Defense being played here,’ says the TNT broadcast with the East on pace to score 212 points.”
    Tyrese Haliburton soars for an uncontested dunk. AP
    Karl-Anthony Towns led all scorers with 50 points in a losing effort, while game MVP Damian Lillard scored 39 for the Eastern Conference.
    Seven players scored at least 20 points.
    “I used to love the @NBA All-Star Game,” author and former Sports Illustrated reporter Jeff Pearlman tweeted. “Now I hate it. It’s become weirdly uncool to play hard, play D, try, care. Same goes for the Dunk Contest. Once upon a time it was the land of Jordan and Dominique, Kobe and Vince. Then it turned into this flat wasteland. NBA eating itself.”


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