The NBA recently revealed its newest solution to making the NBA All-Star game more competitive than recent years and it didn’t come without a bit of controversy by getting rid of the East vs. West format.
Starting this season, the two top vote-getters from the East and West will be selected as captains, and those players will pick whom they want to play alongside them during the game.
Players seem receptive to the idea and that includes on Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith.
Smith, while he supports the change, feels a little caution about how the process will work out. Smith feels there will be an issue with the league openly showing the entire selection process and which order those players were selected. While it may have been of little importance at the time of creating the new format, he says it would hurt more than help in the long run.
Jr asked if the All Star team selection should be public. pic.twitter.com/nFbu93GtQ4
— Nikki Goel (@Mr_NikkiG) October 6, 2017
“That’s a hard situation to put guys in. I don’t think they’re going to release who got picked first. You can’t do that. That’s not the best feeling to have if you’re an All-Star guy. I don’t think they really thought that thing through all the way.”
Sure, it’s easy to criticize something that is new and was created by someone else, but J.R. Smith also offered his own suggestion about how things should be handled to keep the controversy down to a minimum.
“No, they should not put it on TV. They should not do that. It creates unwanted drama and unnecessary drama. It’s a great format. I like the way they did it, but at the same time … 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.”
What is known each year is that there is always a controversy, there is always a player who considers himself snubbed due to the sheer amount of players having a great season, or just the fact that they weren’t voted in by the majority of the fans.
The Cavs shooter himself has never been voted into an All-Star game, and only participated in one dunk contest early in his career. There could be some truths to what he thinks as a player, but once the ball game starts, the voting talks cease, and the focus is on the game itself. J.R. Smith finished 11th in fan voting for the East backcourt last season, which comprised 50 percent of the total vote, and 30th in player voting, which comprised another 25 percent.
The 2018 All-Star Game will take place on Feb. 18 in Los Angeles at Staples Center.