Expect this year’s NBA All-Star game to be more competitive than it has ever been. In the hopes of seeing better action in the annual affair, the league is reportedly offering a $100k incentive for every player on the winning team.
ESPN Sources: In an attempt to increase competitive nature of NBA All-Star games, players on winning team to now pocket $100,000 each. https://t.co/uJ2G8OYIpT
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) January 29, 2018
This new scheme doubles the reward that players get for winning the All-Star Game. As for players on the side, they won’t go home empty-handed as they will still receive the same $25k bonus losing teams did in previous years.
The NBA has actively sought for ways to shake up tradition in the All-Star Game. This year, the first major change was allowing the top two vote-getters – eventually LeBron James and Stephen Curry – to draft their teams instead of going with the usual Eastern versus Western All-Stars.
Players seem to like the changes, particularly this one with the doubled financial incentive. Baynes reported some reactions from those who will participate in the event.
“That’ll certainly make it more interesting,” Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving said regarding the $100,000 winner’s prize. “That’s a huge difference.”
Curry, who captains one of the two All-Star squads, also feels that it will boost the nature of the exhibition match. But he also suggested some other adjustments.
“That’s significant. For some players, they just want to see [the game] being worth their time,” Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry told ESPN. “An idea I have is shortening the day. The entire game day is the biggest drag for us. Media [obligations], sponsorship appearances, [extravagant, prolonged] All-Star introductions. It’s obviously a made-for-TV event. After all that, then there’s the game. That’s a lot.
The 2018 NBA All-Star Game will be played at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 19 (Manila time).
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