Fixing All-Star Weekend

The Two Man Game asked the members of the TrueHoop Network how to change All Star-WeekendJeremy Wagner of Roundball Mining Company had my favorite idea:

 I would like to see players other than guards participate in the skills challenge.  How fun would it be to watch Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Dirk Nowitzki, LaMarcus Aldridge and Lamar Odom battle it out?  There could also be a big man division with players like Tim Duncan, Dwight Howard, Nene, Amare Stoudemire, Pau Gasol and Marcus Camby.

The last change to the competition format would be a pentathlon. There could be a skills challenge, three point shootout, trick shot shootout, race four lengths of the court with a basketball and then maybe the Mikan Drill (60 seconds to make as many layups as you can alternating hands with each shot).  Whoever wins would be given the title of The Most Complete Player in the NBA or Most Versatile Player in the NBA.  A financial bonus is this could be held at a second venue resulting in more ticket sales.

Here are my ideas:

Get rid of the sophomores (in the Rookie Challenge). Would you rather see Kevin Durant and Co. beat up up on some first-year players or get a chance to see Kevin Love, Marreese Speights, Eric Gordon, Mario Chalmers and Joe Alexander in extended action?

An old-timer’s game. I’m not talking about a bunch of guys standing out of the way so Julius Erving can try to dunk. I want to see some guys who aren’t that far from their retirement and are still competitive enough to want to win.  This may mean former All-Stars like Michael Jordan, Reggie Miller, Karl Malone, Dennis Rodman, David Robinson, Hakeem Olajuwan, Glen Rice, Scottie Pippen, Rik Smits, Antoine Walker, Mitch Richmond, Nick Van Exel, Terrell Brandon  or Alonzo Mourning. Or this might mean role players who are still in shape, like P.J. Brown, Robert Horry, Kevin Willis, Toni Kukoc, Jon Barry or Clifford Robinson. A good mix of the two groups would provide the best game.

Also, a Two-on-two tournament between players from each state and country (that has two player represented in the NBA). Games would be short, probably to seven. This could bring some March Madness-type Cinderella stories to the weekend. And think of the potential for jersey sales. Here’s a look at what teams might look like:

Alabama: Ben Wallace and Gerald Wallace
Alaska: Carlos Boozer and Mario Chalmers
Arkansas: Joe Johnson and Derek Fisher
California: Ray Allen and Tayshaun Prince
Connecticut: Ryan Gomes and Marcus Camby
Delaware: Joey Graham and Steven Graham
Washington D.C.: Delonte West and Kevin Durant
Florida: Amar’e Stoudemire and Vince Carter
Georgia: Dwight Howard and Josh Smith
Illinois: Dwyaye Wade and Andre Iguodala
Indiana: Greg Oden and Zach Randolph
Iowa: Nick Collison and Patrick O’Bryant
Kansas: Earl Watson and Maurice Evans
Kentucky: Rajon Rondo and Greg Buckner
Louisiana: Danny Granger and Paul Millsap
Maryland: Jeff Green and Rudy Gay
Massachusetts: Demetris Nichols and Courtney Sims
Michigan: Jason Richardson and Kenyon Martin
Minnesota: Joel Przybilla and Devean George
Mississippi: Al Jefferson and Mo Williams
Missouri: David Lee and Larry Hughes
Nevada: C.J. Watson and Ricky Davis
New Jersey: Shaquille O’Neal and David West
New York: Carmelo Anthony and Elton Brand
North Carolina: Chris Paul and Josh Howard
Ohio: Lebron James and Kevin Martin
Oklahoma: Shelden Williams and Jake Voskuhl
Oregon: Ronnie Brewer and Ime Udoka
Pennsylvania: Kobe Bryant and Jameer Nelson
South Carolina: Kevin Garnett and Raymond Felton
Tennessee: Brandan Wright and J.J. Redick
Texas: Chris Bosh and LaMarcus Aldridge
Virginia: Allen Iverson and Keith Bogans
Washington: Brandon Roy and Rodney Stuckey
West Virginia: O.J. Mayo and Deron Williams
Wisconsin: Caron Butler and Devin Harris
Argentina: Manu Ginobili and Luis Scola
Brazil: Nene and Anderson Varejao
Canada: Steve Nash and Samuel Dalembert
China: Yao Ming and Yi Jianlian
Democratic Republic of the Congo: Dikembe Mutumbo and Didier Ilunga-Mbenga
Dominican Republic: Fransisco Garcia and Al Horford
France: Tony Parker and Boris Diaw
Germany: Dirk Nowitzki and Chris Kaman
Italy: Andrea Bargnani and Danilo Gallinari
Lithuania: Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Linas Kleiza
Netherlands: Dan Gadzuric and Fransisco Elson
Nigeria: Emeka Okafor and Ime Udoka
Puerto Rico: Carlos Arroyo and Jose Barea
Senegal: DeSagana Diop and Cheick Samb
Serbia: Peja Stojakavic and Aleksandar Pavlovic
Slovenia: Rasho Nesterovic and Beno Udrih
Spain: Pau Gasol and Jose Calderon
Turkey: Mehmet Okur and Hedo Turkoglu
Ukraine: Kyrylo Fesenko and Oleksiy Pecherov
United Kingdom: Ben Gordon and Luol Deng
Virgin Islands: Raja Bell and Tim Duncan

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