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NBA commissioner says All-Star Game needs ‘reset’

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

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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.’

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“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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