All-Star draft

Business World - - Sports World - AN­THONY L. CUAYCONG AN­THONY L. CUAYCONG has been writ­ing Court­side since Busi­nessWorld in­tro­duced a Sports sec­tion in 1994.

Don’t un­der­es­ti­mate the ex­tent of the back and forth that went on be­tween the Na­tional Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion and the play­ers union on the pro­posal to tele­vise the All-Star draft pro­ceed­ings. Even as the no­tion sup­ports the very pur­pose of the an­nual fes­tiv­i­ties, its im­ple­men­ta­tion in­duces sec­ond-guess­ing. From the choices of cap­tains to the or­der in which picks are made, those look­ing in will not help but won­der about the What Ifs and Could Have Beens.

Granted, mak­ing the draft pub­lic will fuel spec­u­la­tion, not to men­tion re­sult in hurt feel­ings among those at or near the bot­tom of the rank­ings. LeBron James is right; speak­ing from his ex­pe­ri­ence as 2018 skip­per and armed with no small mea­sure of logic, he ar­gues that ev­ery player par­tic­i­pat­ing in the spec­ta­cle is an All-Star. Whether cho­sen first or 24th, he’s part of an elite group that does not in­clude the other 426 ply­ing their trade in the league.

Frankly, the rea­sons for tele­vis­ing the All-Star draft far out­num­ber those against. To be­gin with, fans will have a field day with the knowl­edge, cer­tain to bom­bard so­cial me­dia with their opinions on how it pro­gressed. Did per­sonal re­la­tion­ships have a fac­tor in the or­der? Were choices made based on ra­tio­nal thought? Col­lec­tively, will they lead to a more com­pet­i­tive match? As the con­test last Fe­bru­ary proved, he new for­mat at the very least got the two sides heav­ily in­vested in the out­come.

If noth­ing else, the de­ci­sion to grant all and sundry ac­cess to the draft from be­gin­ning to end speaks to the pro­gres­sive na­ture of the NBA. It con­tin­ues to be the most fan-friendly league in the world, what with its heads all too aware of the need to per­pet­u­ally en­gage even ca­sual ob­servers in the face of countless other prod­ucts com­pet­ing for their time. Most im­por­tantly, its stars are, too — which, in the fi­nal anal­y­sis, makes all the dif­fer­ence.

POSTSCRIPT: The NBA 2K Asia Tour­na­ment is back. Qual­i­fiers will be held in Tai­wan, Hong Kong, South Korea, and the Philip­pines un­til Fe­bru­ary 2019. The top two play­ers from each coun­try will then par­tic­i­pate in the NBA 2K19 Asia Tour­na­ment Grand Fi­nals in March 2019. Played ex­clu­sively on the PlaySta­tion 4, the tour­na­ment fea­tures a prize pool of US$10,000.

The de­ci­sion to grant all and sundry ac­cess to the draft from be­gin­ning to end speaks to the pro­gres­sive na­ture of the NBA. It con­tin­ues to be the most fan-friendly league in the world, what with its heads all too aware of the need to per­pet­u­ally en­gage even ca­sual ob­servers in the face of countless other prod­ucts com­pet­ing for their time. Most im­por­tantly, its stars are, too — which, in the fi­nal anal­y­sis, makes all the dif­fer­ence.

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