Curry's NBA All-Star Weekend Skill Is Artful ... and a Real Skill
In as real as the real world can be in professional sports, all-star games only make sense in baseball.
Logically, so, in fact. Because that's where the concept originated.
Baseball's essence -- pitcher vs player, location-oriented defense vs path-oriented offense -- can be duplicated in an all-star game. The mano-a-mano contact in other sports presents too much risk of injury to teams' high-priced investments. Ironically, of all sports, there have been only two career-devastating injuries, and those happened in baseball's Mid-Summer Classic: Dizzy Dean's broken toe and Ray Fosse's broken shoulder.
Dramatic events in NBA, NHL, and NFL all-star games are rare for that reason. The games, basically, are boring because they're not played in the style that attracted fans in the first place.
Enter the skills contests, which easily justify an All-Star break by themselves. Only the Pro Bowl doesn't have one, and as it's the weakest all-star exhibition of the lot, it's the one that has the most need. But, that's the pompous NFL.
The skills showcases in baseball and hockey actually feature feats that are seen in real games, such as home runs and hard shots. Basketball, on the other hand, highlights a competition that would only bench a player in the regular season.
The Slam Dunk contest has devolved into players imitating team mascots.
Imitating the stuff minimum-wage workers can do is not the best way to tout the world's best players.
Yes. Yes it is. It's something.
Something that's measured in opinions and emotions. Like synchronized swimming or anything else that might involve a Russian judge lifting a numbered card. It's an art, like ballet.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
But here's the skill: Golden State's Stephen Curry turning the three-point shooting contest into a game-conditions art form.
Now, that is something.
Something that fans could see every time the Warriors take the court. Which is the main point of skills competitions in the first place.