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NBA Players and the ‘Secret’ Playground Draft

January 11th, 2018 · 1 Comment · Basketball, NBA

It seemed like perhaps the best of several improvements to the NBA All-Star Game.

A schoolyard pick-em to determine teams!

I loved this idea. NBA all-stars sorted out using the same system that we used back in elementary school.

Two captains, and they take turns picking players until the last unpicked guy, head hung in shame.embarrassment, shuffles over to Team B — and it’s all on live TV!

But, apparently, it turns out that even NBA players are sensitive to the implied rejection of being picked late or … God help us … last.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said today that the schoolyard pick-em is still on … it just will not be televised.

Silver said: “There was a sense from the players that it put them in an impossible position.”

Impossible position? Only for guys picked later than they expected or hoped. An idea I also liked because these guys have been picked first their whole lives. Let them experience what most of the rest of us went through.

But no. The players aren’t ready to deal with televised rejection.

The captains of the teams will be the leading vote-getters, one from the Western Conference, one from the Eastern. At the moment, that would be Stephen Curry and LeBron James.

Eight other players would be denominated as “starters” by the vote of fans, players and coaches, four per side, of course, and the coaches would select the reserves.

This is where the schoolyard pick-em would come in. Curry and LeBron would take turns. From the eight starters as well as the backups. (Just because the vote puts you in as a starter, you might not get picked till later.)

And that would not have to be demeaning for the last-picked all-star. It could reflect the preferences of the captains, who might want a certain type of player for his side — a last rebounder, a last-three-point specialist.

It could also become a teammate thing, captains picking guys they currently (or formerly) played with. Or about picking a guy represented by a captain’s agent.

The televised draft was the original idea … until Silver caved in and dumped it.

Former players like Tracy McGrady and Paul Pierce told that players should step up and allow the draft to be televised.

McGrady noted that NBA players did not enter the league at the same moment. Some were drafted in the first few picks. Some went late in the first round. Some sat in the green room for hours before they were picked, maybe in the second round. How could this be worse?

Showing this on TV would have been great fun. The ultimate expression of the schoolyard pick-em.

Maybe next year. Especially if the order of the schoolyard pick is leaked to the media — which it almost certainly will be.







1 response so far ↓

  • 1 David // Jan 14, 2018 at 10:21 am

    Easy solution: A bonus, or some kind of prize, for the guy picked last. Suddenly, it wouldn’t seem so bad.

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