NBA All-Star Game Takes an Unexpected Turn as LeBron James Waits for Bronny, Adding Intrigue to the Event

OPINION: Whether LeBron will get the chance to play with his eldest son Bronny is up in the air, but one thing for sure is that won’t fix the All-Star Game, which featured the least competitive effort in NBA history.

NBA All-Star Game wastes everyone's time while LeBron James tries to wait  for Bronny - TheGrio

Sometimes the old geezer sitting on his porch and hollering about the young’uns has a point. Generations often throw shade on their descendants, suggesting they lack this or have an excess of that. But in the case of Pops vs. Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game, the evidence is overwhelming:

Today’s players couldn’t care less about the exhibition that once meant something to everyone.

“Back in my day” fans never saw an All-Star team surpass 200 points. They never saw the teams combine for 397 points. They never saw one team sink 42 three-pointers. You know another record set in the East’s 211-186 blowout against the West?

The teams combined to register the least competitive effort and the lowest give-a-damn ratio in NBA history.

I remember a time when the All-Star Game was enjoyable, though it’s been impossible to watch the last decade. Players treat defense like it’s a capital offense. Count me out. But I won’t cast aspersions on this crop led by elder statesman LeBron James.

They’re just built different, which isn’t necessarily a judgment on their character. Besides, rightly or wrongly, preceding generations play a role and bear some responsibility for their offspring’s growth and condition.

Maybe NBA players have reached the point where “meaningful exhibition” is just an oxymoron that no longer makes sense.

“I think it’s something we need to figure out,” James told Yahoo Sports after not playing in the second half. “Because this is what the game is like now. More pace into the game, more shots. Freedom of movement. That’s what the regular season is like, and let’s tighten up into the postseason.”

In addition to fixing the ASG, Commissioner Adam Silver must brace for impact and position the league for James’ eventual departure. The all-time leading scorer is in his 21st season and said “not that many” remain before he retires.

Someone will replace him as the face of the league (with co-faces Steph Curry and Kevin Durant), charged with driving interest in the regular season and through the playoffs. But it’s doubtful any heirs will solve the All-Star Game problem, which is secondary to the universal quest of chasing rings.

Bill Russell’s 11 NBA titles lead the pack, while James (four) is two rings behind Michael Jordan and one behind greats like Magic Johnson, Tim Duncan and Kobe Bryant. Competitive juices overflow only when today’s players jockey for playoff seeding and a deep postseason run. Unlike their forebears, they can’t turn it on as much and risk injury for All-Star crowds, especially with actual fans nowadays largely replaced by friends and families who accompany corporate sponsors and celebrities.

James played in his record 20th All-Star Game and is likely to participate in the event until retirement. The date and final uniform are uncertain — he can leave the Los Angeles Lakers this summer — as is the question of playing with his oldest son, USC freshman Bronny James.

LeBron has been open about wanting to play alongside Bronny, who could declare for the NBA draft in June. The Lakers reportedly will explore the notion of adding Bronny, presumably to stay in LeBron’s good graces. Based on collegiate results thus far, the youngster might go undrafted with any other surname. He’s averaging 5.7 points in 20.7 minutes per game for a team that’s 10-16. Returning to college for his sophomore season should be an easy choice but it doesn’t sound like Dad’s helping.

“It’s up to him,” LeBron said Sunday on “Inside The NBA” prior to tipoff. “We’re going to go through the whole process. He’s still in season now. He has the Pac-12 tournament coming up. … We’re going to weigh all the options and we’re going to let the kid make the decision.”

I’d advise him to stay in school and avoid that pressure for at least another year or two, hopefully enough time for his game to develop.  If LeBron doesn’t stick around and they don’t play together, so be it. But I imagine Bronny at USC is enough to keep LeBron in L.A.

“I am a Laker and I’ve been very happy being a Laker the last six years,” he said. “Hopefully it stays that way. But I don’t have the answer to how long it is or which uniform I’ll be in. Hopefully [it] is with the Lakers. It’s a great organization, so many greats. But we’ll see.”

One thing is certain: We don’t need to see him (or any players) in another All-Star Game like Sunday. It’s a colossal waste of time for everyone involved, especially spectators.

Now, get off my lawn!

Deron Snyder, from Brooklyn, is an award-winning columnist who lives near D.C. and pledged Alpha at HU-You Know! He’s reaching high, lying low, moving on, pushing off, keeping up, and throwing down. Got it? Get more at blackdoorventures.com/deron.

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The post NBA All-Star Game wastes everyone’s time while LeBron James tries to wait for Bronny  appeared first on TheGrio.

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