There’s an effort afoot to make the 2018 NBA All-Star game more competitive and meaningful, thus inspiring more effort on the part of the players, who over the years have increasingly watered down the event to a light-hearted exhibition rather than an intense battle for Conference supremacy.
The NBA took a first step towards making the game more marketable and significant by allowing team captains to choose players from either conference – playground style – for the first time in history.
The league is now upping the stakes by rewarding players from the winning All-star squad $100,000 each, up from $50,000 in previous years. Losing players still get $25,000 so the compensation gap between the two sides is significant.
Report: All-Stars will get $100,000 each if their team wins 2018 #NBA All-Star Game. https://t.co/TbqOpVhsih
Some NBA players have told ESPN that the increased winnings will add some extra incentive.
I think guys will definitely take the game more seriously,” Boston Celtics forward Al Horford told ESPN. “In the last couple of years, the games havent been good, and were all aware of that. Regardless of that, I think guys are going to come out and compete. But thats a big incentive, for sure. Were going to be diving for loose balls out there.
“That’ll certainly make it more interesting,” Celtics guard Kyrie Irving said regarding the $100,000 winner’s prize. “That’s a huge difference.”
“I think it will help, for sure. That’s a lot of money,” Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson told ESPN. “It will definitely help.”
Some outlets have described the compensation as a financial game-changer which I find comical. For instance, max players like LeBron, who make around $100,000 for every 12 minutes of court action arent going to care about that $100,000 one way or another. They are not going to risk losing a next contract to go all out and win some pocket change and a meaningless All-star trophy.
Maybe some young cats with expensive spending habits or dudes like Joel Embiid, who are still operating under a rookie contract, will be inspired by the extra cheddar, but even Embiid’s rookie extension is netting him 5-years, $148 million. He’s definitely thinking more about the after parties and the beautiful LA scene than pocketing another $100,000.
Breaking: 76ers center Joel Embiid has agreed to a 5-yr, $148 million designated rookie scale maximum contract extension. (via @wojespn) https://t.co/egZMF1Tqa2
The $100,000 cash purse probably excites the fans more than the players and thats what the NBA hoped accomplish with this illusion of creating a better game with better competition. Its all about getting the fans excited and making them think the game is still worth something.
Most of the players in the All-star game are among the highest paid superstars in the league and most of those cats wear their All-star purse on their wrist and necks in the form of iced out medallions and high end watches.
NBA gets an A for effort though.