Draymond calls on stars to participate more in All-Star weekend


Draymond Green is one of many players and fans alike who want to see a better product during NBA All-Star Weekend. 

Last weekend's three-day showcase in Salt Lake City consisted of the Rising Stars Game on Friday, followed by the Skills Challenge, 3-point and slam dunk contests on Saturday night and the All-Star Game on Sunday in which Team Giannis defeated Team LeBron by an eye-popping score of 184-175. 

On the latest episode of "The Draymond Green Show" podcast, the Warriors forward discussed the All-Star Weekend festivities, the lack of excitement surrounding some of the events and how the NBA can improve the level of competition in the future.

After winning the 3-point contest, Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard announced that he was retiring from the competition. Green, however, would like to see Lillard and other stars continue to compete in pre-All-Star Game festivities. 

"It was interesting to hear him say 'I won it now I can retire.' But I have a different take, D.O.L.L.A," Green said. "Steph Curry won it last year, could not defend his title this year due to injury. (Lillard) won it this year, I would love to see if Steph Curry-Dame rematch with Klay Thompson in there next year. Let's get all the heavy hitters in there, just like we need to get all the heavy hitters in the dunk contest. Let's get Ja Morant in there, let's get Zion Williamson in there, let's get Anthony Edwards in there ... let's get the guys in there with the bounce, the superstars that we know. Let's get those guys in the dunk contest. Obviously, you've gotta bring Mac McClung back, he's the champ."


One reason why stars might not want to compete in the pre-All-Star Game festivities is the lack of incentives. McClung took home a $100,000 prize for winning the slam dunk contest, which for the game's brightest stars, might not be enough money to convince them to participate. 

"But how can we get guys to do that? Number one, quite frankly I think the league needs to share more of that money," Green explained. "Get the sponsors more involved, get the pot up so the guys have incentive to do it. I think that'll be huge, it'll be great for All-Star Saturday and we need to move that in the right direction."

"How do you make guys compete more? You'd be surprised what a little bit of money can do ... say if the bonus was $500,000 or $1 million, you're going to really have guys out there competing and the fans are going to get what they want which is the show that they came to see."

One component of All-Star Weekend that generally was well-received was the All-Star Game draft in which players were selected to their teams live in an entertaining playground-style twist. Green liked the idea but thought the event took too long. 

"I thought the drafting was absolutely awful," Green said. "It was awful, it was too long, it was drawn out. If you're going to say you're going playground style, line the guys up across the free-throw line, pick them playground style real quick and let's go. That thing took an hour and 20 minutes. That was not pleasant at all. I think the idea was great and everybody was excited about the idea, but I think if you're going to go playground style, line the guys up across the line, pick and go play the game."

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It's clear the NBA has plenty of work to do in order to improve its product during All-Star Weekend. 

There certainly were entertaining moments, but Green's sentiment echoes a similar frustration from fans and players alike. 

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