The NBA all-star draft should have been televised. It wasn't. Why?

By Daniel Rapaport
January 25, 2018

Fans were pumped when the NBA announced a new format for the All-Star game this year. Instead of the tired East vs. West matchup, the new format has the highest vote-getter from each conference serve as a team captain. The coolest part: both captains draft their teams.

This was/is cool! We'd get to find out things like who LeBron thinks is the third best player in the league, and whether Steph would dare pick Russell Westbrook ahead of Draymond Green. 

That is, we'd get to find these things out if the draft was televised, or at the very least if the draft order was made public. Neither happened—the draft happened on a call between James and Curry, and the teams will be revealed without denoting who was taken with what pick. This is lame. LeBron thinks it's lame, Steph thinks it's lame, John Wall thinks it's lame

So why wasn't the draft televised? According to a report from Marc Stein of the New York Times, there are three reasons. First, there was a worry that the last draft pick would be embarrassed. (Of course, this is a draft of the 24 best basketball players in the world, not fourth graders at recess.) Next, Stein reports that the league didn't want to put the captains in the awkward position of having to decide whether to draft players over his teammates. The third reason Stein mentions is that the NBA players union objected, likely after consulting with agents. 

The players union provided the following statement to SB Nation:

The NBPA did not consult a single agent on the issue of a televised all-star draft. It was the absence of a consensus by prospective players likely to be affected that led to support for a reveal. Whether a decision to broadcast the draft will be made after this year’s game, that will be determined going forward.

It seems like some players were adamant about the draft not being televised, and in order to avoid upsetting some of the league's best players, the NBA eliminated the cool part of the draft altogether. That's a shame. 

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