Mid-Star Weekend

“That’s the worst basketball game ever played. I don’t know if you can fix it,” said Denver Nuggets coach, Michael Malone, who coached Team LeBron in the 2023 NBA All-Star Game.

Team Giannis brought home the win, 184-175, over Team LeBron this year, and Jayson Tatum took home All-Star Game MVP with 55 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Those stats are very impressive until you realize that literally no one tries in the All-Star Game.

The ratings for this year’s festivities were at an all-time low. The 2023 NBA All-Star Game was the least watched edition in history. Sunday’s game was aired on both TNT and TBS, averaging a 2.2 rating and 4.59 million viewers. When compared to 2022’s 3.1 rating and 6.28 million viewers, 2023’s ratings dropped 29 percent and viewership dropped 27 percent.

Boston Celtics Guard Jaylen Brown and Memphis Grizzlies Forward Jaren Jackson Jr. also shared their displeasure with this year’s event. Keep in mind that this was also Jackson Jr.’s first All-Star game appearance.

“That’s not basketball,” said Brown. “It was just a glorified layup line.”

“You just run, and you don’t try,” said Jackson Jr. “And then you do try, and then you go back to not trying.”

But it’s not just the All-Star game that has been suffering. If you haven’t been paying attention, the Dunk Contest, Skills Challenge, and Three-Point Contest have also fallen off in terms of excitement and relevancy. 

If not for Mac McClung in the Dunk Contest, this All-Star Weekend would’ve been one of the least remembered and least exciting, in recent memory. Seriously, can you tell me that you actually watched the Rising Stars Challenge? The Celebrity All-Star Game is what it is, and I actually kind of like that event, but that just can’t be the best part of All-Star Weekend.

All-Star Weekend is supposed to be a treat for both fans and players, so why does no one seem to care anymore?

Well, I think one reason the All-Star Game sucks was on display this weekend: injuries. LeBron James suffered a right hand contusion in the game and did not return to the second half of the game. Also, Giannis Antetokounmpo suffered a wrist injury in the Bucks’ last regular season game before the All-Star break, and barely played in the All-Star Game. Those were the two captains of the team, and seeing them both sit out due to injury is very discouraging for the players that continued on.

The problem with injuries in the All-Star Game, aside from the fact that we never want to see injuries in general, is that the regular season has not even ended yet. Some of these players, like Antetokounmpo and James to some extent, have playoff and championship aspirations while being the star of their teams, so why would they play hard and risk significant injuries?

Well, there seems to be a lot that goes into it, but luckily for me, I am not the commissioner. Adam Silver has a lot on his plate. Perhaps he will come back in 2024 with some new rule changes to make the game better. Only time will tell. Skol.

Write to Hayden Lee at

Header Photo: This is what the All-Star Game looks like now?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.