DENVER Nuggets head coach Mike Malone has called the 2023 NBA All-Star Game “the worst basketball game ever.”
Malone, 51, led Team LeBron in Sunday’s 184-175 loss to Team Giannis in Salt Lake City, Utah.
And he didn’t like seeing NBA stars playing little defense and shooting triple after triple in the league’s annual All-Star Showcase.
“It’s an honor to be part of a great weekend, great players,” said Malone after the game.
“But this is the worst basketball game ever played.”
With hardly a shot contested during the All-Star Game, players attempted 126 3-pointers on Sunday.
That’s almost four times more than an average NBA game this season.
Jayson Tatum scored a record-breaking 55 points for Team Giannis – went 10-to-18 from beyond the arc – and recorded 10 rebounds and six assists to pick up the Kobe Bryant MVP award.
His brief second-half matchup with Boston Celtics teammate and Team LeBron player Jaylen Brown was among the few times fans were able to see the NBA stars play on defense.
Tatum beat All-Star teammate Donovan Mitchell for the MVP honor with the Cleveland Cavaliers guard recording 40 points and 10 assists Sunday night.
Joel Embiid and Team LeBron’s Kyrie Irving were two other NBA stars trying to get at least a little serious on the court at Vivint Arena.
Malone commended his All-Stars for the effort but added he was still having a hard time watching the game.
“I don’t know if you can fix it. I give Joel Embiid, Kyrie Irving – these guys were like in competition.
“Joel was begging some of the guys to play harder to try and get some defence.
“Nobody got hurt, they put on a show for the fans but it’s a tough game to get through. I won’t lie.”
And NBA fans agreed with Malone.
One tweeted: “Yes ASG is rubbish now and has been for a while.
“Basketball without defense just isn’t real basketball. I mean most of the game is wide open 3 point balls and dunks.
“They have two separate competitions for this shit the night before…”
Another wrote: “The whole focus for any player is not to get hurt… I mean I get it but it sucks to watch.
“Watching guys jack up wide-open 3’s on almost any property isn’t entertaining.”
And a third said: “Worst ASG ever.”
Malone also gave an insight into the mindset of an NBA coach ahead of the All-Star Game when he admitted to limiting Nuggets star Nikola Jokic’s minutes on Sunday.
The head coach said his priority is to save the two-time MVP from an injury that would derail the Denver season.
Concerns about the event’s competitiveness have been debated for years, prompting the NBA to try the current format with a target score set in the fourth quarter to determine the winners.
The changes made the All-Star game more appealing in recent seasons, but failed to save the 2023 showcase.
Several NBA stars missed the 2023 All-Star Game and Giannis Antetokounmpo left after making the first bucket from the wrist injury he sustained days earlier.
And LeBron James sat out the entire second half after injuring his right hand during the clash.
The first two days of the All-Star weekend offered a lot more entertainment.
New Orleans Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado stole the show during Friday’s Rising Stars Challenge with his game and on-court remarks.
And Mac McClung put on a performance to last in Saturday’s slam dunk contest.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/7446359/team-lebron-coach-2023-nba-all-star-game-garbage/ Team LeBron’s coach calls the 2023 NBA All-Star Game the ‘worst game ever’ as fans slam the ‘garbage’ contest