As the second half of the NBA season upon us, it’s only fitting that we look back at one of the league’s signature events — All-Star weekend. As noted in previous post, from a public relations standpoint, last year’s festivities in Las Vegas was a disaster.
But all accounts, this year’s event in New Orleans was a huge success, Page 2’s Sports Guys sums it up for me. Even one of the league’s harshest critics following Vegas, Jason Whitlock, said the weekend made the NBA ‘matter again’
For me, I watched every event from the celebrity challenge on Friday to the 3-point shootout and historic slam dunk contest on Saturday to the game on Sunday.
But an interesting debate caught some steam on Monday. The question was asked, what matters most the NBA All-Star game or the Daytona 500.
NASCAR’s biggest race — often called the Super Bowl of racing is probably the one sport I just can’t get into. To me, it’s boring and lacks suspense, aside from the crashes. But it has a large following, filling stadiums every week.
The target audience, however, is completely opposite than that of the NBA. NASCAR has a large southern, white audience. The NBA is targeted to more of an “urban” audience. Because of this, stereotypes and perceptions arise. In the lastest edition of ESPN the Magazine, Chris Palmer looks at the crisis the NBA has with perception. For the sixth straight year, the NBA All-Star game’s ratings were down. What does this mean? Is the NBA losing relevance in America, because globally, the game is as popular as ever.
Part of me thinks that the brawl a couple of years ago and the dress code set the league back a couple of years. But, with the emergence of new starts like Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Brandon Roy, etc., the NBA is on its way back and will be better than ever.