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Nick Wright: NBA All-Star Game, Load Management Are Media’s Fault

The NBA held its all-star weekend this past weekend in Salt Lake City, and as has become normal practice over the years, the talking point come Monday was similar to that of the Pro Bowl in the NFL – how do we make this event matter to people again?

The final score in the NBA all-star game was indicative of a game in which defense, and in some regards competitiveness, has become an afterthought. The dunk contest, which is a highlight of the Saturday night festivities, wasn’t exactly star-studded. Only four players (Trey Murphy III, Kenyon Martin Jr., Jericho Sims and Mac McLung) took part in the contest, and none of them played in the all-star game on Saturday.

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Filling in for Colin Cowherd on The Herd on Monday, Nick Wright said the media is to blame for NBA all-star weekend losing its luster and lacking star power in some of the marquee support events.

“The media is going to spend all day echoing those sentiments and crushing the players while taking no personal responsibility for where we’re at across sports in all exhibition games,” Wright said. “And in the NBA in particular where the dunk contest no one wants to participate, the all-star game no one wants to try. Hell regular season games you don’t know who’s gonna play and who’s not gonna play.”

“The all-star game used to be competitive, and I’m not talking about the 80s and 90s,” Wright added. “Yes it was competitive then but I’m talking about 2010, 2012. Up until a decade ago, this was a competitive game that people talked about.”

Somewhere along the line, Wright said, the media hyper focusing on championships being the be-all and end-all in terms of determining how great a player is seeped into the mindset of players. And then you wonder why the all-star game turns out to be a snooze fest and why star players believe in load management.

“It’s all that matters,” Wright said. “That’s what all of sports commentary has become and then we act shocked when the players act accordingly.”

“All we give you credit for is championships. All we give you credit for is the destination,” Wright mentioned. “Nothing for the journey. It does not matter what you do in the regular season. It does not matter what your full body of work is. You either win the title or you’re considered some different level of disappointment or failure.”

In Wright’s eyes, the NBA players understand the focus on titles didn’t used to be at the forefront. But now that it is the case, the media shouldn’t be surprised when players don’t want to put the same competitive effort into a glorified exhibition than they do regular season and postseason contests. Wright said it was funny how some in media don’t at least acknowledge how they’ve aided in the shift in mindset.

“Of course anything that is not directly related to a championship pursuit is going to not just become secondary or even tertiary, it’s gonna become forgotten. And then we in the media act like we’ve got nothing to do with it.”

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