I'm writing this letter to you, in the hope that you can make next year's NBA All-Star Saturday Night suck a little less. What used to be one of my favorite sporting events, has turned into something that hurts my soul to watch. My three hour anxiety attack began while I watched the contestants jog through the skills competition one after the other. What made matters worse, was that they were competing to win scholarship money for the little buddy to whom they were assigned, and with whom they were apparently incapable of interacting with or looking at. The contestants didn't care, and it looked like they were worried that people would be thinking, "Jesus! This guy really wants to win... What a SPAZ!" The 3-point contest was fine, as always, and I commend you for not changing that for the worse.
Then came the dunk contest... The same event that, twelve years ago, had me and my friends leaping off the couch with excitement, using a trampoline to re-create what we still couldn't believe we saw, has turned into four dudes, missing more attempts than they complete. The contestants, though, can not be blamed. They did their best and actually pulled off some impressive dunks, but their efforts were over-shadowed by the painfully awkward pre-dunk interviews and the mysterious fan voting system, both of which will go down in the "Horrible Idea Hall of Fame." Can they not even get 8 contestants anymore? Mr. Stern, the solution is simple; somehow get LeBron James and Dwayne Wade to take off their non-prescription nerd glasses, and get involved. Did I dream that, a couple years ago, LeBron said he would be in the next year's competition? He needs to hold another weird hotel room conference (like the one that spawned the big 3) with Blake Griffin and Dwight Howard, and decide that they're going to fix this thing. He and Dwight already had their own dunk contest over a bag of McDonald's!
1. Mascot dunk contest...
2. Hire dunk writers, to help the contestants come up some props and themes that will better resonate with the fans.
ex. Dunk over an old woman, knocking over her grocery cart, then when she stands up and takes off her white wig, it turns out to be Kevin Hart!
There is no easy answer, but you can't just take years off when there isn't a rookie named Blake Griffin who is still excited to participate. If this is the type of effort that I can expect to see in future competitions, please let me know before I get my hopes up each year. I'll get my dunk fix from YouTube.
p.s. - The first event which showcases an old guy, a girl, and a current player is the stupidest thing I can imagine watching. I would rather watch my grandma play golf.