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J.R. Smith worried new All-Star format will embarrass players if televised

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Earlier this year, the NBA made an interesting tweak to their All-Star Game selection process. Along with eliminating the traditional East vs. West format, a new form of voting has been set in place. The two players who receive the highest number of fan votes will be named captains. Those two captains will then select teams from the pool of 22 players who are voted as starters and reserves, regardless of what conference they play in.

On Sunday evening, Cleveland Cavaliers sharpshooter J.R. Smith chimed in with his opinion of the All-Star Game’s player selection process. “Swish,” as he has came to be known, tells ESPN’s Dave McMenamin that the new format is “great.” However, the former Sixth Man of the Year award winner (2013) also stated that he hopes it isn’t televised.

“It just creates unwanted drama and unnecessary drama,” Smith told ESPN. “… Say Anthony Davis gets picked last on whichever team. How do you think he feels about that? As an All-Star, you made the All-Star team, you’re pretty much taking the joy from it away and now you’re making it a problem between me and such and such person because you picked me last. If I was doing it, I wouldn’t put it on TV. You guys, send in whoever you want in, pick your team and then however it goes, like that. But don’t just sit there and say, ‘Oh he was last,’ or, ‘He was second to last.’ That’s unnecessary drama.”

Smith, a man who is never afraid to speak his mind, makes a valid point. The All-Star Game’s new playground style of “pick-em” could create a sticky situation for the players who are voted into captaincy (i.e. LeBron James). If James is a captain, who might he select as a point guard? And what if Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant is a captain, who will he choose?

As you can probably imagine, this story’s plot will thicken as the 2018 All-Star Game draws near (Feb. 18). Let’s just wait and see how the teams shape up.

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