Maybe Larry is right👇 NBA legend Larry Bird hopes players will ‘play hard’ at the All-Star Game👇 for more

Maybe Larry is right👇
NBA legend Larry Bird hopes players will ‘play hard’ at the All-Star Game👇

The NBA All-Star Game of 2023 was so boring that the league decided to change the format for 2024. No more All-Star Draft. No more Elam Ending.

The league went back to its traditional format for the first time since 2017. East vs. West. A regular game with four quarters. The league hopes that this will bring back some of the excitement that used to make the All-Star Games memorable.

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But one former All-Star has a different idea. Larry Bird, who played in 12 All-Star Games, spoke at the Legends Brunch on Sunday in Indianapolis and gave a simple advice to the 24 players who will play on Sunday night.

“The one thing I would really like to see is they play hard tonight in this All-Star Game,” Bird said.

“I think it’s very important when you have the best players in the world together, you’ve gotta compete, and you’ve gotta play hard, and you’ve gotta show the fans how good they really are.”

NBA legend Larry Bird hopes players will ‘play hard’ at the All-Star Game

ByTuhin Das Mahapatra

Feb 19, 2024 07:30 AM IST

NBA legend Larry Bird urges players to bring back the All-Star Game excitement with a simple plea: play hard.

The NBA All-Star Game of 2023 was so boring that the league decided to change the format for 2024. No more All-Star Draft. No more Elam Ending.

Former Indiana Pacers player Reggie Miller, center, 12-time NBA All-Star Oscar Robertson, left, and NBA legend Larry Bird speak to the fans before the start of the NBA All-Star basketball game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)(AP)

The league went back to its traditional format for the first time since 2017. East vs. West. A regular game with four quarters. The league hopes that this will bring back some of the excitement that used to make the All-Star Games memorable.

Unlock exclusive access to the story of India’s general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now!

But one former All-Star has a different idea. Larry Bird, who played in 12 All-Star Games, spoke at the Legends Brunch on Sunday in Indianapolis and gave a simple advice to the 24 players who will play on Sunday night.

“The one thing I would really like to see is they play hard tonight in this All-Star Game,” Bird said.

ALSO READ| 2024 NBA All-Star Weekend schedule: When, where and how to watch

“I think it’s very important when you have the best players in the world together, you’ve gotta compete, and you’ve gotta play hard, and you’ve gotta show the fans how good they really are.”

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Bird was not the only NBA legend who implicitly criticized the 2023 All-Star Game. Commissioner Adam Silver confessed that people were “uniformly critical” of last year’s All-Star Game at his press conference on Saturday, and that he hoped for a better game on Sunday.

Maybe Larry is right

The effort level in the All-Star Game tends to vary over time. In 2020, for instance, the game was praised as a success because the new Elam Ending created a thrilling finish. But four years have passed and the league has already abandoned the idea. Maybe the players will feel ashamed of last year and play harder this time, but history shows that once the enthusiasm fades, the effort will also decline.

Many fans have suggested a Team USA vs. international players All-Star format that could create some real rivalries. Maybe a larger cash prize could motivate them. But in the end, it depends on the players. They are the ones who make the All-Star Game interesting, and no matter what the league does, nothing will matter if they don’t play hard as Bird wishes.

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