NBA boss to introduce new All-Star Game rules

 NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaking with the media during a press conference at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Feb 18, 2017.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaking with the media during a press conference at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Feb 18, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK • National Basketball Association (NBA) commissioner Adam Silver has promised format changes to make the NBA All-Star Game more competitive before next year's edition in Los Angeles, after a high-scoring affair last month.

"We will change it by next year. It shouldn't be play-off intensity, but the guys should be playing," he said at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sports Analytics Conference in Boston.

He added that Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul, the National Basketball Players Association president, spoke with him about the need for changes after almost no defensive moves were made in the Western Conference's 192-182 victory over the Eastern Conference at New Orleans last month.

"Chris said, 'We need to fix this'," Silver said.

"There is kind of a group-think notion out there that you have general managers and coaches in essence saying, 'Go easy, don't forget this is just for fun.' I just think this is one where we just have to reset."

Silver said Paul suggested the same group that negotiated a new collective bargaining deal - featuring Michael Jordan of Charlotte from the owners and Cleveland Cavaliers players LeBron James, Kyle Korver and James Jones among others - find a fresh idea.

Possible NBA changes include team captains picking players, an idea the National Football League (NFL) and National Hockey League (NHL) have used, and a four-point shot.

"You hear people talking about four-point shots, something that's not about to happen in the NBA but maybe in an All-Star Game - maybe there are a few spots on the floor where it's a four-point shot, maybe there's a half-court shot in the last minute that's 10 points," Silver said.

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who guided the Western Conference All-Stars, said players must make the event more of a contest, calling the lack of intensity "embarrassing" and "a joke".

"We could talk about gimmicks and talk about anything we want. Whether it's the money or involves charity, it just comes down to the players taking it seriously," he told ESPN.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 07, 2017, with the headline 'NBA boss to introduce new All-Star Game rules'. Print Edition | Subscribe