Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

An idea to tweak NBA All-Star Friday

This appears on NBA Philippines

An idea to tweak NBA All-Star Friday
by rick olivares

I enjoy the NBA All-Star Weekend and always have. But for the most part, I always looked forward to All-Star Saturday because I thought that the Three-point Shootout and Dunk Contests were always more competitive than the All-Star Game and they produced more signature moments for the league’s mid-season classic.

Here are some of my favorites:
-       Larry Bird walking into the locker room and asking who is competing for second place. He backed up his trash talking by hitting the moneyball with his last shot to win his third straight three-point shootout.
-       There was Craig Hodges hitting almost everything he threw up in the three-point contest.
-       There was Michael Jordan-Dominique Wilkins dunk-off in 1988.
-       There was Spud Webb wining the Dunk Contest over teammate Wilkins.
-       There’s Dwight Howard playing the role of Superman.
-       Nate Robinson reprising what Spud Webb did with his fantastic dunks.
And lots more!

The mid-season classic has gotten so big that in recent years they added an All-Star Friday where the league’s rising stars usually play. This year, they featured the USA versus the World format that the latter won. I’d say that this is a good idea but what happens when there aren’t enough rising stars from the rest of the world?

The Legends game that they previously played until a lot of the old-timers started getting injured will only thrill hardcore junkies. The rookies versus sophomores is kind of boring though.

I have an idea though to make All-Star Friday just as fun.

How about a Reunion Classic where say the Duke and UNC alums currently playing in the NBA get it on for a game? Or the Arizona dudes take on their UCLA rivals?

You might say that’s promoting the college game and not the pro game. Not really. There are those watch only the college game and not the NBA. You might be tapping into another market here.

There are 19 current Blue Devils in the NBA led by Kyrie Irving, Mason Plumlee, Mike Dunleavy, Gerald Henderson, Carlos Boozer, Josh McRoberts, Elton Brand, Luol Deng, JJ Redick, Austin Rivers, Ryan Kelly, and Mason Plumlee to name a few.

The North Carolina Tar Heels will be led by Vince Carter, Danny Green, Harrison Barnes, Raymond Felton, P.J. Hairston, Tyler Hansbrough, Brendan Haywood, Marvin Williams, and Tyler Zeller to name a few as well.

For UCLA, they’ll have Arron Afflalo, Trevor Ariza, Matt Barnes, Russell Westbrook, and Kevin Love for their first five. And there are guys like Jrue Holiday and Zach LaVine off the bench.

The Arizona Wildcats will be led by Richard Jefferson, Andre igoudala, Jason Terry, Jerryd Bayless, Chase Budinger, Jordan and Solomon Hill, Nick Johnson, and Channing Frye to name a few as well.

They do not have to play a fully 48-minute game. They could play a shorter match. The one drawback to this is the players could take this very very seriously as these rivalries run deep.

Yet these games could become some of the most viewed ones!

Well, it’s just an idea. But who knows? The NBA has shown that is does embrace change.

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