The least important, and most petty, of this season’s NBA controversies is reportedly over.
We now know who LeBron James and Stephen Curry picked last in the All Star Game draft. Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge was the final selection by LeBron James while Celtics big man Al Horford fell to Stephen Curry’s team, per ESPN.
You’re never going to believe this, but apparently Horford and Aldridge both still get to be All Stars despite the perceived slight. And, yes, all the festivities in Los Angeles will still take place this weekend and the NBA season will still move forward following its conclusion. Even with this information out there, the world still turns (no offense, Kyrie).
Turns out, it’s not such a big deal.
Look, there are numerous ways the NBA could’ve avoided all the high school drama created by a closed-door player draft. In fact, the NHL actually figured out the perfect formula a few years ago when it had players draft All-Star teams on live TV. And it was actually more fun than the game itself.
The NHL gathered all the eligible players in one room, gave them an open bar and awarded the draft’s “Mr. Irrelevant” with a new car. It created an environment where players like Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin was campaigning to be picked last. And between the players getting all liquored up and the absurdity of pro sports to begin with, it was hard to take anything during the draft seriously.
So if that can work in a league where players aren’t known for showing personality, just think about how incredible it would be to see NBA players put in the same situation. No All Star is going to be offended by being last pick if by the time their name is called they are tipsy and given a new Kia — though a cab home would likely be just as useful.
The NBA has no excuse not to televise the All Star draft if it uses the same format next year. It might just lead to some of the most genuine moments we’ve seen off the court in a long time.
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