How to reboot NBA All-Star Weekend

By Sean Keane  |  Last updated 2/16/17

Shaquille O'Neal will make the perfect Bowl of Jelly judge. ROBERTO SCHMIDT/Getty Images

We all love NBA All-Star Weekend, but we can all agree the events are getting stale. To increase the drama, TV ratings and overall blog-worthiness of the NBA’s Saturday showcase, here’s a set of new events that can make this the most thrilling All-Star event since Smash Mouth performed at the "Shrek" premiere.

The Drunk Contest


Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash were known to enjoy their time together with the Dallas Mavericks. NBA Photos/Getty Images

If the NBA is serious about increasing the excitement and unpredictability of All-Star Saturday, I have two words: Drunk Contest. Some of the NBA's greatest players are also some of the world’s greatest drinkers. They deserve a showcase worthy of their talents. Imagine the fireworks! Michael Jordan throws down a whole tray of tequila shots from the free throw line. Charles Barkley puts on a blindfold, Cedric Ceballos-style, and throws an angry fan through a plate glass window. Blake Griffin drunk drives a Kia onto the court, then breaks his hand punching a team equipment manager.

You can use teammates, too, for partner drunks! Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash reunite for a 360 beer bong. DeMarcus Cousins pumps up Matt Barnes’ Reeboks before he downs a pitcher of margaritas. Still, no one will be able to top Danny Fortson and Art Long’s move in the finals, when they punch out a police horse.

(Note: James Dolan thinks Charles Oakley should be in this competition, but there’s no evidence he’s actually eligible.)

25-Point Shootout


Former MTV personality Dan Cortese was the king of Rock N' Jock. Jeff Kravitz/Getty images

This is very similar to the traditional Three-Point Shootout, only players take aim at a 25-foot-high basket, which you might remember from MTV’s Rock N' Jock Challenge. Players still get five racks of five balls each, but now the money ball is worth 50 points. The favorites are still Klay Thompson and Kyrie Irving, but don’t rule out late entrant Dan Cortese.

The Celebrity Revenge Game 


Taylor Swift has been known to take in a Knicks game from time to time. Al Bello/Getty Images

Some of the most hated celebrities in America come together to play in what they think is an exhibition game with other celebrities. Instead, they’ll face off against the NBA’s worst team, the Brooklyn Nets, who are looking to take their season-long frustrations out on these D-listers. Watch Brook Lopez dunk all over Milo Yiannopoulos! See Taylor Swift’s layup attempts get swatted into the stands by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson! And while Jeremy Lin struggles to guard real NBA point guards, he’s going to steal the ball from Kanye West every time Yeezy crosses halfcourt.

Normally the Celebrity Game has shorter quarters and a running clock, but the Revenge Game is a full 48 minutes with regular stoppages, including the automatic timeouts. All so there’s plenty of time for Jonathan Franzen and Sage Steele to be completely roasted by Sean Kilpatrick and Luis Scola.

(Note: While Nick Cannon is playing in the regular celebrity game, he’ll be performing his standup at halftime of the Revenge Game. Not on the court — in the celebrity locker room.)

Life Skills Challenge 

In the regular Skills Challenge, players demonstrate their mastery of basketball skills like dribbling, passing and shooting. The Life Skills Challenge is a series of tasks designed to test a player’s mastery of life skills. Limited to first-year players and foreign big men, it’s a relay where competitors have to complete a series of tasks: First, they fold a fitted sheet. Then they boil an egg, iron a dress shirt and legally register a handgun. In the tiebreaker round, the two finalists compete to see who can enroll in a 401K fastest. Judges include Shawn Kemp, Kwame Brown, Royce White and Robert Swift.

Rising Stars vs. Falling Stars 


Chicago Bulls guards Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade have not had the best go of it this season. Mike DiNovo/USA TODAY Sports

The NBA has tried out a lot of concepts for this showcase over the years. Rookies vs. Sophomores. Charles Barkley’s picks versus Chris Webber’s. The World vs. the U.S. No one cares. Let’s create some real drama and make it Falling Stars vs. Rising Stars Game. Think Kristaps Porzingis is good? Let’s see how he does against Tyson Chandler. Joel Embiid? Meet Pau Gasol. We might have to limit the number of Knicks who can participate in a single year, but I’d still love to see D’Angelo Russell, Kris Dunn and and Jaylen Brown going up against the backcourt of Rajon Rondo, Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose. The only problem will be the Falling Stars skipping practice and demanding trades at halftime.

The Double Stuff Oreos Dunk Contest 

The dunk contest gets a new sponsor with Oreos. It’s just like the old dunk contest, but you have to be over 275 pounds to compete. Which big man can stuff the ball as well as he stuffs his face? Imagine the possibilities! Jared Sullinger one-upping Gerald Green by eating a cupcake on his way to the rim! Al Jefferson putting on a Superman cape and then using it as a napkin! Jonas Valanciunas shouting out Dee Brown covering his face with a foot-long sub during a dunk!

It might not be as athletic as the normal contest — no one is going to jump over a car, unless that car is blocking a drive-thru window. But imagine the human drama of seeing if Omer Asik can dunk three times without needing supplemental oxygen! As a bonus, in the same way an unsigned Craig Hodges was still allowed to defend his three-point title in 1993, we are going to invite Glen “Big Baby” Davis to compete. Winner gets to split a pitcher of Shirley Temples with Joel Embiid.

The Jelly Belly Flop-Off 

The NBA’s best at exaggerating contact compete to see who can flop the hardest. There’s three different categories: The Quick Draw Charge, where players must race to a spot, hit a blocking sled and throw themselves to the ground, without going inside the restricted circle. They’re judged on speed, artistic impression and overall Shaqtiness.

There’s the Four-Point Play, where competitors are lightly brushed with a feather and then try to hit a three-pointer while falling backward. Finally there’s the Fosbury Flop, where players literally compete in a high jump event, flopping over the bar and onto a mat, all while crying out in fake pain. James Harden is the odds-on favorite, but when the bright lights are shining, that’s when King James flops the hardest.

Sean Keane is a comedian residing in Los Angeles. He has written for "Another Period," "Billy On The Street," NBC, Comedy Central, E!, and Seeso. You can see him doing fake news every weekday on @TheEverythingReport and read his tweets at @seankeane. In 2014, the SF Bay Guardian named him the best comedian in San Francisco, then immediately went out of business.

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