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Outside » Outside Features

Defense is Boring: Why every NBA game should be played like the All-Star Game

One of these teams has to score 200 points at an NBA All-Star Game.


Kobe Bryant dropped in 37 points. LeBron James had a triple-double. Kevin Durant did what he does best: scored 30-plus points, yet allowed himself to be completely ignored in post-game reports. Carmelo Anthony sat on the bench and tried to pretend like he didn't know he'd be living in New York in a matter of days.

A bunch of other stuff happened at the NBA All-Star game, like a dozen or so missed layups and Rihanna treating and/or subjecting basketball fans to her robotic warbling at half-time, but most importantly, the two teams combined for 291 points with the West all-stars taking down the squad from the Eastern Conference by a tally of 148-143. Here's the really crazy thing about this game; they could have scored a hell of a lot more points if either team would have run up and down the court or shot competently from behind the arc. And if you've read this column before, you know that I love high-scoring sporting events more than I love excessive amounts of kittens.

Few things in life give me the sort of joy I receive from watching a 17-15 baseball slugfest or a 57-52 college football overtime knock-down drag out. Of course, basketball is best played fast and at a high score. I mean, does anyone remember the late 1980s? People knew how to score back then (See Kimble, Bo). Face it; defense is so boring. And to top it off, no one even likes playing defense, so why make people do things they don't like?

Yeah, I know it's the All-Star Game and no one is supposed to be trying all that hard - but harder than the Pro Bowl, of course - yet wouldn't it be cool if the two squads could sit down before the game and agree that, come hell or high water, one of these teams is going to score 200 points?

How hard would it have been for West head coach Gregg Popovich and the East's Doc Rivers to sit down and hatch out a defense-minimal collaborative game plan?

That discussion would go something like this:

Popovich: You think we can do this?

Rivers: You mean score 200 points each?

Popvich: Duh.

Rivers: Absolutely. But you have to agree on one thing.

Popovich: Sure. Anything.

Rivers: No defense. Like, no defense at all.

Popovich: We can do that. Kobe wasn't planning on playing defense anyway. It's in his contract.

Rivers: OK, good. And Blake Griffin isn't allowed to jump.

Popovich: What?

Rivers: Yeah, that guy could probably block anything. Dude jumped over a car at the dunk contest last night. You see that?

Popovich: Yeah, that was nasty.

Rivers: So Griffin doesn't jump. No defense. Anything else?

Popovich: Trampolines. No fewer than three trampolines on the court.

Rivers: Oh, nice. I like that. Deal.

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