One would think that an All-star game would provide such a spectacle.
Unfortunately, this is only the case in one of the four major American sports, baseball.
This makes sense for two reasons: first, baseball presents the lowest risk of injury, and secondly, it is difficult to slack off in baseball.
Could you imagine a centerfielder not hustling for a fly ball or a batter taking a half-swing at a pitch? NFL and NHL All-star games are meaningless for obvious reasons.
Given the physical nature of the sports, it would be foolish to award any non-monetary compensation to the winners.
In the NFL Pro Bowl, offensive players hardly even get to showcase their abilities due to the lack of defense being played especially quarterbacks who are seldom sacked or even rushed.
Although the risk of injury is higher in basketball than baseball, why not adopt their format, which would award the All-star game winners' conference home court advantage in the finals? Sure, It's fun to watch when players don't care about the games outcome.
What sports fan doesn't like to watch the offensive razzle dazzle; the young point guard showing off jaw-dropping ball handling skills and nonchalant behind the back passes? Truth be told, that kind of risky play should be reserved for street ball, not professional basketball.
Even more entertaining would be ferocious defense; Lebron James sticking to Kobe Bryant like white on rice instead of easing up in anticipation of becoming victim to an ankle breaking crossover dribble.
It may be a bit unrealistic, but it's not too far-fetched to be completely written off.
Imagine how much ratings would increase if the players had the motivation they needed to put forth maximum effort.