You want the NBA’s All-Star draft televised. I want the NBA’s All-Star draft televised. The NBA, apparently, wants the NBA’s All-Star draft televised. So, why on Kyrie Irving’s flat Earth isn’t it on TV?
Blame the players, according to New York Times scribe Marc Stein.
The league office shared concerns about embarrassing players and forcing captains to choose between friends or foes, but still planned to televise the selection process, and it wasn’t until the players resisted the idea that it was scrapped in favor of Thursday’s conference call, Stein reported:
The players’ union objected. The union, presumably with considerable input from player agents, is the faction that actually put up the most resistance to letting all this play out in public. Some All-Stars want the draft televised, but some don’t. So the league acquiesced.
For their part, the National Basketball Players Association, whose president, Chris Paul, spearheaded the plan along with NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan, denied that presumption about agents while confirming Stein’s reporting in a statement to SB Nation:
“The NBPA did not consult a single agent on the issue of a televised all-star draft. It was the absence of a consensus by prospective players likely to be affected that led to support for a reveal. Whether a decision to broadcast the draft will be made after this year’s game, that will be determined going forward.”
At least one of the aforementioned concerns appears to be unfounded — neither LeBron James nor Stephen Curry, the game’s two captains, cares much about hurting their fellow All-Stars’ feelings. James supported a televised draft, and Curry thinks it will be eventually. (Silver also shared Curry’s sentiment, that “maybe over time we can build on this concept and there will be a televised draft.”)
— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 25, 2018
— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) January 25, 2018
Paul, James and Curry are all members of the NBPA’s executive committee.
We have our answer, then: The All-Star draft will not be televised because other players are worried about being embarrassed. To which LeBron said, “We’re all grown men. It doesn’t stop your paycheck from coming.” John Wall, an All-Star reserve and therefore a candidate to be selected last, concurred. And Klay Thompson, who is in that same reserve boat, took it a step further, via KNBR-AM sports radio:
“I wish they would announce it publicly, because I think it would be hilarious who was the last pick. But it’s still awesome just to be there. Being an All-Star, I don’t even care if I was the last pick, it would just be fun to poke fun at that person.”
Some players, though, took it more seriously. Kevin Durant didn’t want to be a captain, and Carmelo Anthony — another NBPA executive committee member — said, “I don’t think you should televise that,” adding, “guys are going to be mad, guys are going to be upset, friendships come into play.”
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