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Volume 25 No. 29
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TV Broadcast Of NBA All-Star Team Selections Up In The Air With Commissioner's Hesitation

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver appears opposed to the idea of broadcasting the NBA All-Star Game team selection. Silver said having captains pick the teams is a “big step” toward improving the game itself and admitted having a public draft “would be more fun.” But he added, “I recognize picking a team to perform in the here and now is a little different than drafting.” Silver said, “There was a sense from the players that it put them in an impossible situation where they’re picking one player over another, in part not because that player is better than another player but maybe because they have a personal relationship with the player or they think that player will be a better complement to the players.” He said if they “did it as just a pure draft, guys would say, ‘I can’t believe such and such was selected before that player’” (NBA TV, 1/11). Silver "reiterated his comments" prior to Thursday's Celtics-76ers game in London, saying that he was "simply pleased about the new format." He "didn't rule out the possibility of making it public in the future" (USATODAY.com, 1/11). 

SKIPPING THE DRAMA: ESPN's Rachel Nichols said a "huge part of the NBA’s popularity is all the personal dynamics we’ve got going on in this league, and the idea of getting to see those actually play out in real time between the league’s biggest stars is incredibly juicy.” However, the selections will be made in secret because there are “some concerns some players will their feelings hurt.” Nichols: “If you didn’t want to lean into that, then you shouldn’t have picked this as the method of spicing up the All-Star Game.” ESPN's Tracy McGrady said, "Why are you guys so sensitive with it? Have fun with the format." ESPN's Paul Pierce commended Silver for "being innovative and changing the format" of how the teams are comprised, but he said televising the draft "would be good for marketing for the NBA." Pierce: "Put some sponsors behind it" ("The Jump," ESPN, 1/11). ESPN's LZ Granderson noted the NBA is “missing an opportunity” by not televising the draft. Pierce added, “You’re depriving the fans of what they want” (“SportsNation,” ESPN, 1/11). The Dallas Morning News' Tim Cowlishaw: "The only thing interesting when you come to this decision to divide teams this way is to see how they drafted.” The Boston Globe’s Bob Ryan: “Memo to the commissioner: if you’re going to have this kind of format, you must go all the way” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 1/11).