by Ben Taylor
The All-Star Weekend is a strange thing. Entirely unwatchable but unmissable at the same time. Whether you are in Orlando, Minnesota, London, or Beijing, you can’t help tuning in—knowing that while you’ll probably end with a Fred Jones circa 2004, you just might catch a Vince Carter circa 2000.
Except it seems some hoops heads and casual fans don’t seem to be tuning in anymore.
Last year, the All-Star Game averaged 9.1 million TV viewers. Game six of the 2011 NBA Finals averaged 17.3 million, topping out at 24 million, as the Mavs gave Dirk his first ring and the Big Three failed to take a ‘chip back to South Beach.
The ‘three most exciting days in sports’, in the words of NBA commissioner David Stern, don’t seem to be getting people excited.
It’s not too hard to see why. This year was more fun, but the game is a glorified pick-up run (Dwight Howard shooting threes?) and the Dunk Contest is more about props and theatrics than throwing down. And if the whole thing is ta...