Sources: NBA, NBPA Agree To Televise All-Star Draft For First Time
The NBA and NBPA have "agreed to televise" the draft in which two captains will select their squads for the '19 All-Star Game in Charlotte, according to sources cited by Marc Stein of the N.Y. TIMES. Sources said that a firm date and specific format for the televised draft "has not yet been finalized, but Jan. 30 and 31 have emerged as two potential targets for a TNT broadcast." The format was "initially conceived with the full intention to televise the selections, but pushback from the union scuttled those plans" last year. The resistance from the NBPA was "largely tied to fears of embarrassing the players selected last, or putting captains in a position to upset current teammates by passing over them" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/8). In L.A., Tania Ganguli notes LeBron James after last year's All-Star Draft posted on Twitter that it "definitely should've been televised." He "doesn't buy the potential for awkwardness." James: "You got 24 of the best players in the world that's going to make the team. It doesn't matter if you're first or last, you're 24 of the best in the world at that point in time. I don't think it'll be bad" (L.A. TIMES, 11/8).
DRAFTING PARTNER: ESPN's Mike Golic said the NHL in the past has "had a ball" with a similar draft, as players were "mocking one another, having a good time." Golic: "That's what I hope they would do here" ("Golic & Wingo," ESPN Radio, 11/8). FS1's Cris Carter said the NFL and other pro sports "need to take a snapshot" of the NBA and its player draft ("First Things First," FS1, 11/8). ESPN's Jalen Rose said basketball "continues to be the sport to find a way to capture the fans and keep them interested when it’s not necessarily a meaningful game" ("Get Up!," ESPN, 11/8). The Athletic's Frank Isola said he is "more excited" for the draft than the actual game ("PTI," ESPN, 11/8). ESPN's Israel Gutierrez said the NBA is a “year late on this” but it will “play out pretty decently, I just don’t think it’ll be as dramatic. Players coming in will have a game plan" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 11/8). ESPN's Bomani Jones also said he does not "know how they’re actually going to make this work because the ‘petty’ will be on full alert.” Jones: "How many guys are going to suddenly have something to do that night just in case they are not the first person (picked)?" This could "actually turn out to be a ... disaster" ("High Noon," ESPN, 11/7).