Home » ‘More harm than good’: Pippen slams All-Star Game

‘More harm than good’: Pippen slams All-Star Game

Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen says he didn’t watch this year’s NBA All-Star Game and thinks it is hurting basketball after scoring records were shattered in a lethargic match on Sunday.

The 73rd edition of the annual clash left fans irate and even left participating players disgruntled as the Eastern Conference became the first team to drop more than 200 points in a 211-186 scoreline in Indianapolis.

After LA Lakers star LeBron James called for a “deeper conversation” over the game’s future, Pippen, himself a seven-time All-Star, said it was up to the players to compete harder for basketball to regain a benefit from the occasion.

In Melbourne for the launch of the NBL’s 2023-24 playoff series on Tuesday, Pippen said the game in its current form was harming the sport.

“I didn’t catch any of it, and I think I did a good job,” he said.

“I think we have been seeing this for the last few years, with the All-Star game, and the importance of the game. I think it all falls back on the players, whether or not they want to compete. I heard one player say they don’t think anyone wants to be there.

“Maybe there is a time and place for it. Maybe the players are making too much money, they don’t feel that they can generate the energy, the excitement in mid-season to go out and excite the fans any more.

“It’s something the league has to take a look at, because it’s doing more harm than good to the game right now.”

James, who played only the first half of the match in his record 20th All-Star appearance, said the players didn’t like the current feel of the game either but were more focused on staying injury-free.

“Obviously from a player’s perspective, it’s fun to get up and down. But at the end of the day, our competitive nature don’t like to have free-flowing scoring like that,” he said.

“But I think the good thing that came out of tonight was none of the players were injured, and everybody came out unscathed or how they were before the game started. So it’s a deeper conversation.”

Pippen said he maintained high hopes for Australian star Josh Giddey, who is preparing for a playoff run with the Oklahoma City Thunder, currently second in the Western Conference.

The 21-year-old point guard’s output has dropped slightly this season but he has remained relatively consistent on court as he continues to be investigated by the NBA over allegations of an inappropriate relationship with an underage girl.

In January, the local police investigation into the allegations was closed without any charges against Giddey.

“(The Thunder) are young and they are dangerous. It’s really hard to predict when you are playing against teams like that because those players are still coming into their own,” the six-time NBA champion said.

“I am confident (Giddey will improve) … Oklahoma City has a great staff – his growth and development will continue to happen over the next three to five years.

“We have all seen a huge jump … it’s just a matter of him maturing physically as well as mentally – when that all comes together, you will see a different player.”