Should the NBA All-Star Draft be televised?

Ryan McFadden, Sports Editor

The NBA announced the starters for the 2018 All-Star Game on Jan. 18, which means one of the best weekends in sports is right around the corner.

The game will be making a major adjustment compared to years past in which the Eastern Conference All-Stars faced the Western Conference All-Stars. Now, there will be team captains—LeBron James and Stephen Curry—and they will have a chance to pick which players they want on their team, no matter what conference.

I am all for this new format because it can lead to so many storylines, like whether James picks ex-teammate Kyrie Irving or if Curry will select the versatile Giannis Antetokounmpo. The only problem that I have is that the league will not be televising the All-Star Draft.

Over the past few seasons, the NBA’s stock has risen and the league has shown its potential to overthrow the NFL as America’s top sport. One of the reasons for the NBA’s growth in popularity is its ability to both appeal to fans through social media and to market its superstars.

That is why I found it odd that the All-Star Draft won’t be televised. The NBA could get high ratings, especially if the draft were to be on TNT with Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Shaquille O’Neal and Ernie Johnson hosting it.

The Draft could lead to so much drama, something that the NBA feeds off of – think Kevin Durant-Russell Westbrook rivalry. To see James potentially picking Irving, Curry deciding to go with Westbrook instead of Durant or trusting the process and picking Joel Embiid would draw diehard and casual basketball fans to the television screen.

If the NBA wants to make it better, it could announce the participants of the dunk contest, three-point shootout and skills challenge before or after the draft.

I have to give the league credit for the way it markets All-Star weekend, even if it doesn’t live up to expectations at times. Every year, fans are eager to see who shocks the world during the dunk contest or which player will score the most points during the All-Star Game.

Televising the All-Star Draft would take promotion to a whole new level and it may have more of a positive impact compared to a negative one. Not only would it be trending on various social media outlets, but it would also draw in strong ratings to ESPN, TNT or NBA TV.

It’s been proven that NBA fans love drama. That’s why Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers games are on prime time. That’s why fans care about what a player says on Instagram and Twitter.

With that being said, the league must continue to support the fans’ needs and televise the All-Star Draft.

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