If you did not spend you Sunday night watching the NBA All Star game, you missed one of the most entertaining NBA All-Star games in a long, long time. The typical NBA All-Star game is full of a lot of offense with basically no defense. That was certainly part of the game on Sunday, but then the fourth quarter turned into one of the best pickup basketball games ever.
A very outside the box format change. This year, the NBA rolled out a big change with the first three quarters being games within the game. Then, the fourth quarter was the first to 24 points with no running clocks or TV timeouts.
This year we’ve changed the game!— NBA (@NBA) February 16, 2020
Learn about the new format for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game before #TeamLeBron takes on #TeamGiannis tonight at 8pm/et on TNT in Chicago. pic.twitter.com/TumgqNRTla
The initial reaction included a lot of WTF. That continued some through the first three quarters. After the game? Nearly universal praise. The game ended up being what everyone has always wanted.
Adam Silver has cemented himself as the best commissioner in sports for things just like this. He had a product that could have been better. So he made radical changes to make it better, even if the changes weren’t easy.
The Pac-12 has a product that could be a lot better in a lot of ways. Think of how amazing it would be if the Pac-12 had a championship football game people loved. Or a basketball tournament. Or a broadcast product. Or any number of other things.
The NBA made a radical change to one of its most visible products. They risked getting smashed by every morning debate show on television. And it worked in an amazing way.
And yet the Pac-12 can’t even figure out how to make its TV broadcasts available broadly. After eight years.
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Punching first is something Adia Barnes and her players talk about often. On Sunday afternoon, that’s exactly what the Arizona Wildcats did. The Washington State Cougars didn’t quite know what hit them out of the gates as Arizona defeated them 72-57.
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