JASON WHITLOCK: Yes, but I don’t– that’s not an indictment of the game. Because I actually think the draft may help the game, and the fact that they’re playing it for charity may help the game. I like these changes, because I’ve learned to hate the NBA All-Star Game. It’s a travesty to watch.
The draft I think will be very interesting. And now guys won’t get drafted as high as they think. That may give them a little edge. And then playing for charity will embarrass them if you’re not playing very hard, and you’re playing for a charity. So I think the draft will be great, and I think they have probably improved the game.
COLIN COWHERD: Most sports are about the team, the shield, the coach, the GM, the system. The NBA is a player league. It’s about the star. And here’s what I’ve come to terms with with the NBA, and I’m OK with it. It’s probably actually good in our business because it gives you stuff to talk about. In the NBA it’s the only league in America where stars doing non-basketball activities– ping-pong, lottery, draft, combine, whatever– is more interesting than non-stars doing basketball activities. I would rather watch this draft than the Denver Nuggets play.[LAUGHTER]
I’m serious. It’s such a star driven league. I would rather watch sta– Now, I’d rather watch LeBron play, and Steph Curry play, and Durant play. But if you’re giving the option of All-Stars Tuesday–
JASON WHITLOCK: That’s an indictment of the NBA.
COLIN COWHERD: No, it’s an indictment of boring NBA teams, non-stars.
JASON MCINTYRE: There are some bad NBA teams. But I do want to say this, guys. First of all, LeBron has a huge advantage because he’s been the GM of the Cavs already for four years. So he’s going to have a great time picking.
JASON WHITLOCK: He is the top [INAUDIBLE]
JASON MCINTYRE: And he’s already putting together the Lakers, as we know. But you know, when it comes to the actual game, I love the All-Star game, Whitlock. This is the best game of all the leagues for the fans. Right, they love the playground theatrics, the lack of defense, the alley-oops. That’s what the fans are for in baseb– in basketball. They love the highlights. And that’s all the game is. Russell Westbrook jacking up shots from 35 feet, scoring 60 points. Fans love that. I love the NBA All-Star game, honestly. I know you guys don’t like it, but I’m in love with it.
KRISTINE LEAHY: If they don’t air the actual draft, they’re doing themselves a tremendous disservice. Because this is going to be so interesting, or at it has the potential to be. And I want this to be done junior high dodgeball style, where you’re all lined up. And then the two team captains get to choose one by one who they want. So we can see the reactions, like when Draymond’s available but so is Kyrie. Who’s Steph going to choose? Or if Steph chooses Durant and then Westbrook’s available, does he choose him? You know, and who’s drafted last? I want to see all of that happen.
COLIN COWHERD: Those are stories, and to Kristine’s point, the NBA does a terrific job creating narratives and stories. I mean, who gets along, the banana boat, Melo, Westbrook. Like, I just think the NBA is really smart on understanding, listen man. The NFL always understood the TV show. Increasingly, the NBA is figuring it out, too.
JASON WHITLOCK: Well look, the NBA has a– despite Jason McIntyre loving it. Everybody knows the NBA All-Star game is a travesty and an embarrassment. That’s why they’re tweaking it, trying to fix it. Hopefully they’ll figure out a way to fix– The NFL’s been trying to fix their game, which is eve worse than the NBA one. But I agree with Kristine, seriously. There is not a person on the planet that can’t relate to the dodgeball line, or the pickup basketball game, where you’re the last person picked. Or, you picked that guy ahead of me, or you wa, wa, wa, I can’t believe it. Look, these NBA players despite how much money they make, they think the same kind of stupid things we all think.
JASON MCINTYRE: What about the guys like the Paul Millsap and Kemba Walker who have bonuses tied to being an All-Star, because you’re in the East, where there’s not a lot of talent. And now you have no shot of getting to the All-Star game.
KRISTINE LEAHY: No that’s not how it is. The fans are still voting. It’s just the people who are– the teams will be decided by the players.
JASON WHITLOCK: Right.
KRISTINE LEAHY: The fans are still voting in.
JASON MCINTYRE: So do you think any of the players are going to take some of these–
COLIN COWHERD: Well they’ll be the last guy taken.
JASON MCINTYRE: Middle tier stars?
KRISTINE LEAHY: They’re taking all of them. 24 guys.
COLIN COWHERD: You’ll be the kid in high school that was the last kid.
JASON MCINTYRE: So pretty much like me in pick up basketball.
JASON WHITLOCK: All right, well.