Adam Silver's blunt assessment of the state of the NBA hints at big changes

2024 NBA All-Star - Commissioner Adam Silver Press Conference
2024 NBA All-Star - Commissioner Adam Silver Press Conference / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

During a recent interview on CNN's King Charles show with Gayle King and NBA legend Charles Barkley, commissioner Adam Silver drew attention with his comments on the state of the all-star game. It has been no secret that he has tried to make the game more competitive, and his statements definitely reflect that.

Silvers' comments about the all-star game are spot on and anyone who has watched the NBA all-star game over the last 10 years has noticed a sharp decline in competitiveness. Star players appear to have less interest in the all-star game itself, contrasting with the previous generations of greats that came before them, and the same could be said about the regular season as a whole.

To combat that, the league tried to have the leading vote-getters in each conference pick their own teams as a way of drumming up more interest and raising the intensity level.

That didn't work and neither did the Elam scoring method that they instituted. Silver and the NBA then opted to go back to the basics. They ditched the new scoring method and went away from team captains picking teams in favor of good ole' East vs. West. Now Silver is considering tweaking the game again.

Is there any fixing the all-star game and the overall all-star weekend?

As far as playoff intensity and nail-biting endings are concerned, we will probably never see that become a regular thing in an all-star game again. Even still, Silver isn't giving up on the game but is instead seemingly acknowledging its limitations. The all-star game won't be a high-intensity game but it can still be fun.

One option he floated was having a US vs. international game. Given the direction of the league, that might be far more interesting. Imagine the likes of Steph Curry, Donovan Mitchell, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Bam Adebayo leading the U.S. roster and going up against the likes of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokoumpo, Joel Embiid, and Nikola Jokic.

That would be interesting to watch and it would highlight the NBA's increasing number of international stars. They could also look at paying the winning team a significant amount to give them something to play for.

Adam Silver's willingness to make changes is great for the NBA.

Those could prove to be welcome changes and the NBA has already made other all-star weekend moves that were successful recently. The Steph Curry vs. Sabrina Ionescu shooting contest was successful and could potentially lead to an expanded 3-point shootout that features both NBA and WNBA stars.

That may help the NBA deemphasize the Dunk Contest, which has become an increasing disappointment. Speaking of the Dunk Contest, simple changes like banning contestants from dunking over people and limiting or eliminating props would dramatically improve the product.

They also revamped the Rising Stars game by having four teams that featured G-League players, rookies, and sophomores. All this proves that Silver is flexible and willing to make changes to improve the NBA product. That bodes well for the league going forward since it has the youngest fan base of the major North American sports leagues and must quickly adapt to trends as a result. Based on his comments, Silver seems up for the task.