After criticism for a lack of competitiveness in prior All-Star games, the NBA has attempted to change things by putting additional money in the pot. According to ESPN, the NBA doubled the winning team’s earnings to $100,000. This means each player on the 2018 winning team gets $100,000, rather than the prior amount of $50,000. The losing team will earn $25,000.
Will this result in players taking the game more seriously? Some players seem to think so. Count All-Star Al Horford as one of the players who thinks it will make the game more competitive.
“Well, I would like to think so,” Horford told ESPN. “I think guys will definitely take the game more seriously. In the last couple of years, the games haven’t been good, and we’re all aware of that. Regardless of that, I think guys are going to come out and compete. But that’s a big incentive, for sure. We’re going to be diving for loose balls out there.”
Derrick Rose also thinks fans will see a difference in the quality of play thanks to the increased purse.
“Hell yeah,” Rose told Bleacher Report. “Don’t get me wrong. We’re blessed to be in this position, but $75,000 is $75,000. That pays for your All-Star trip. For guys who have family members coming in, and they’re paying for hotels and travel and all that, that pretty much takes care of that. For me, I would love to be back in [the game]. To win it would seem like I walked away using their money.”
It is just one of several changes the NBA made to try to increase interest in the 2018 NBA All-Star Game. The league also changed the traditional conference format. The East will no longer square off with the West. Instead, the leaders in fan votes were made captains. This year, LeBron James and Steph Curry were named captains. The two players participated in a fantasy draft to select their rosters. They could draft any player regardless of what conference the player’s team was in.