avril 23, 2024

Wolves star dismisses proposed U.S. vs. World All-Star format

2 min read

Some people want the NBA All-Star Game to have a U.S. vs. World format. All-Star Anthony Edwards isn’t having it.

One of the regular ideas to « fix » the NBA All-Star Game is to borrow a format used by the NHL in the past, making the game a battle between American and international players. Hockey has enough European players that the NHL actually did North America vs. The World, using the format from 1998-2002.

But while the NBA has a number of international superstars, including the last five league MVPs, the World Team wouldn’t quite have the depth. Serbia’s Nikola Jokic, Slovenia’s Luka Doncic, Greece’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and Canada’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander all started the game, while Cameroon’s Joel Embiid was voted in as a starter (though he’s a naturalized U.S. citizen). The Dominican Republic’s Karl-Anthony Towns scored 50 points off the bench.

The problem is, the talent level drops off after that. That happened when the NBA used the Team USA vs. Team World format for the Rising Stars Game. In 2021, 29-year-old Facundo Campazzo and 27-year-old Mychal Mulder were « Rising Stars » simply because the Team World roster needed players.

Edwards’ comment could have been taken as an insult to Jamal Murray, the Canadian point guard for the Denver Nuggets. But it’s likely he was simply being literal when he said Murray « wasn’t an All-Star. » Murray has been great in the playoffs, but he’s never made an All-Star team.

There’s already a cottage industry of complaining about All-Star snubs. Imagine the furor if the NBA had to limit its American selections to 12!
It also feels like such a move would unnecessarily add discord to All-Star Weekend. The combination of domestic and international players is part of what makes the NBA special. Why pit Americans against foreigners any more than already exists in the outside world?

Especially since Anthony Edwards is starting enough conflict by himself.



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