NBA commissioner says All-Star Game needs ‘reset’

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Friday that changes will come to the league’s All-Star Game next year.

Chris Paul, the National Basketball Players Association president, called Silver to discuss changing the league’s showcase game shortly after the Western Conference raced past the Eastern Conference 192-182 in a defenseless contest.

“Chris said, ‘We need to fix this,'” Silver said while speaking on a panel with FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. “There is kind of a groupthink notion out there that when you have general managers and coaches in essence saying, ‘Go easy, don’t forget this is just for fun.’

“I just think this is one where we just have to reset,” Silver continued. “Chris’ suggestion was let’s get back with maybe the same group we negotiated the collective bargaining — Michael Jordan on the owners’ side, Jeanie Buss, Wyc Grousbeck, James Jones, Kyle Korver and LeBron [James] and others — let’s all get back together and figure out a way to do this.”

Silver and Paul tossed around potential ideas like having team captains select starters instead of fan balloting, or instituting a 4-point shot to enhance the All-Star Game.

“It is an All-Star Game, and you are out there to have fun,” Silver said. “You hear people talking about 4-point shots, something that’s not about to happen in the NBA but maybe in an All-Star Game; maybe there’s a few spots on the floor where it is a 4-point shot, maybe there’s a half-court shot in the last minute that is 10 points. I don’t know. Maybe those are crazy ideas.

Silver said he only encourages his players and coaches to have a voice and “be multidimensional and to feel comfortable” in whatever stance they take, and to do it in a respectful manner.

“I am incredibly proud of them — and same for owners, by the way, and many of them are Republican and conservative, and they speak out in their own way, and I am comfortable [with it],” Silver said. “Personally, from the things that NBA league offices have been involved in, I may be naive sometimes, but I have tried to express things that we have done as a function of values and principles of this league as opposed to a particular political position. Those are values that I inherited and David Stern inherited. … [With] the global nature of this league, it is part of who we are.”

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