November 11, 2010

School-yard style all-star games rule

by Dan Bilicki In: Basketball, Ice Hockey

The NHL has finally done something to get ahead of curve instead of lagging behind like this league has done with recent issues in the sports landscape (late to the party on steroids and salary caps). With the announcement that the NHL all-star teams will be selected by captains of two teams, instead of just separating teams by conference, ice hockey has taken a step that the NBA should have done a long time ago.
Both ice hockey and basketball are perfect for the school-yard style of team selection, but with ice hockey, there are a lot more players on the team and there’s too much strategy behind picking the teams. Do you get defenceman early, or load up on forwards? Will the captains get enough players in their right positions, or could we see a team with a single LW and ton of Cs and RWs playing out of position? When would you grab your goalie(s)?
Now, I’m not saying that this will be a failure for the NHL or anything. This will surely be more entertaining than watching coaches put lines of teammates together because of chemistry. And heck, I can’t wait to watch the selection process – which we better be able to watch pan out.
But could you imagine the possibilities of the NBA taking up this style of all-star game? It would be spectacular! No sport stays truer to its street-level reputation than ’ball and how do you think they pick teams on the schoolyard courts?
There’s so many more amazing opportunities that we would get at the NBA all-star game rather than the NHL version. Basketball is more emotional sport than hockey and guys would really take it to the next level. Take these questions for examples as to why the NBA using this captain system would be amazing…
What would happen if LeBron and Kobe were captains and Kobe took Wade with the first pick?
What if LeBron and Wade were captains and nobody wanted Chris Bosh – assuming he actually makes it.
Would Kobe draft any of the Celtics?
Would captains go big or small in the draft?
Would captains draft their teammate over a superior player?
Would captains draft great guys who play their own position early on?
Would the last player taken hog the ball and try to show up everyone else?
So, as you can see, while I’m thrilled for the NHL to debut this great idea, I seriously can’t wait for the possibility of the NBA adopting something like this for their mid-season showcase.

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