The All-Star Game still doesn’t have a competitive edge

211-186. That was the final scoreline of the 2024 NBA All-Star Game. 

My hopes that going back to an East vs. West format would make the game even a little more competitive were clearly misplaced, considering that they set a brand new record for scoring. 

The lack of defense was interesting, to say the least. I mean come on, three players combined for 107 points on the winning team. Damian Lillard (39 points), Tyrese Haliburton (32 points) and Jaylen Brown (36 points off the bench) shot a combined 25 of 49 from beyond the arc to accomplish the feat. Lillard, who led the East in scoring, eventually won the MVP, much to the consternation of fans in Indiana.

One of the funniest highlights of the game was Karl-Anthony Towns leading all scorers with 50 points for the LOSING TEAM. The man scored the majority of those points in the fourth quarter as well and it’s a hell of an achievement to pull something like that off and still lose 25 points. 

Towns’ feat made him just the fourth player in NBA history to score at least 50 points in an All-Star game, with the other three being Jayson Tatum (55 in 2023), Anthony Davis (52 in 2017) and Steph Curry (50 in 2022). That also tells you something about how much scoring has been inflated these days.


The dunk contest needs stars

I’m obviously looking at things through rose-tinted glasses, but the dunk contest really needs an influx of star power. Sure, the dunks are creative, but watching a G-Leaguer win the contest two years in a row just doesn’t have the same oomph as watching big names go against each other for the title. 

Jaylen Brown deserves props for putting himself out there in the contest. He didn’t even have a great performance, but he put himself out there and had a good attitude about it afterwards. I don’t know if it’s an ego thing, or an injury worry that stops people from participating, but come on, the dunk contest is a joke now.


Steph Curry vs. Sabrina Ionescu was pretty fun

I actually enjoyed the shootout between Steph Curry and Sabrina Ionescu. It was a fun mini-event that brought additional eyes to the women’s game, which also looked like something that both participants enjoyed. 

Ionescu insisting on shooting from NBA range made it even more entertaining. 

The only lowlight from the whole thing was Kenny Smith’s insistence on being a fucking asshole about it, clearly trying to make Ionescu look bad for some inexplicable reason.

This made me appreciate Reggie Miller as an announcer a bit more, especially since by the end of it he sounded like he was clearly sick of Smith’s shit. Miller’s point of view was understandable, too, considering that his sister is arguably the greatest women’s basketball player of all time and a basketball legend who didn’t even get the chance to play in the WNBA because she was already 37-years-old when the league started play.

Ionescu getting this kind of platform, having fun with it, and also having the chance to inspire a younger generation of girls to play basketball is a good thing for the game in general. There was absolutely no reason to try to rain on her parade.

Kenny, I hope whoever shit in your cereal over the weekend does it again, because you deserve it for being a miserable prick.