Much has been said about Sunday's NBA All-Star game in Arlington, Texas. Unlike seasons past, however, what is being said isn't all good.
Indeed, the fact that over 108,000 people attended the game in the Jerry Dome is impressive. But really, why would so many want to be at a game where you have to watch the game on a TV screen that is larger than the court the game is being played on?
Isn't the allure of attending an NBA game being able to see the players relatively up close?
Surely the majority of fans that were in attendance weren't there for the typical reasons many of us go to NBA games. It was more to be a part of history—attendance history, that is.
By playing the game in a such a large venue, the game is not staying true to what the game is about. The game is about fans being able to enjoy the atmosphere of a professional basketball game with the relative intimacy that a 20,000-seat stadium offers.
By playing in a stadium that seats more than five times the amount that a typical NBA arena does, the game becomes more about spectacle (attendance spectacle) and less about basketball.
It seemed that way back when the Detroit Pistons used to play their home games in the Pontiac Silverdome and it seemed that way on Sunday in Cowboys Stadium.
One can only hope that future NBA All-Star games do not follow this year's example and are played in established NBA arenas instead of football stadiums.
With the game taking place in Los Angeles next year and Toronto in 2012, we can at least take solace in knowing that the game will stay truer to itself than it did last weekend.