There was much debate over the inaugural NBA All-Star draft. Some players opposed televising it because they didn’t want their feelings hurt in front of a national audience. Everyone else couldn’t understand why it wouldn’t be on TV, especially if the whole point of restructuring the game was to raise interest and competition. Broadcasting the results to the world would give us more moments like the time Russell Westbrook mistakenly thought he was picked last and shredded the Wizards.
Afterwards, captains LeBron James and Stephen Curry agreed the draft should’ve been televised.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 25, 2018
— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) January 25, 2018
But NBA commissioner Adam Silver reminded us on ESPN’s “The Jump” that Curry was among the most vocal players against televising the draft prior to participating in it on a private conference call:
“I agree with Steph. He’s the one who said, ‘Give us a break. We changed the format for the first time. Let’s see how it goes, and then we can talk about televising it.’ My sense is that already what we’ve heard, certainly from the media, even from the players themselves, is I think we could have a lot of fun around a draft. So, if things go as we hope they will, I’m sure that’ll be something we sit back down and talk to the union about.”
It seems Silver was reinforcing what Curry told The Athletic before he was even named captain …
“My only thing with making it live — with the way social media is now and how everything is hyped up — there’s potential for those last two to four picks to get ridiculed or what-not,” Curry said. “At the end of the day, they’re All-Stars. I don’t want to put anyone in that situation.
“Obviously, somebody has to be picked last if you’re doing it that way, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re less than the rest of the guys. But that’s the one thing you want to be sensitive toward — one meme comes out, one GIF or whatever it’s called, and you’re trying to make fun of an NBA All-Star? That’s one thing I want to make sure doesn’t happen.”
… and what Curry told the San Francisco Chronicle after being selected by the fans as a captain:
“I’ve always been a proponent of protecting the players,” Curry said. “I know that’s the unpopular position in this day and age. We’re all grown men, and we can handle it. We’re All-Stars and what not. But we want to see how the whole format goes the first time, so it’s presented in the right light.”
Hopefully we’re all on the same page now. Host the draft right before the game, and televise it.
More from Yahoo Sports NBA:
– – – – – – –