Like other games of this type offered by professional sports, the NBA All-Star Classic contained little intensity and effort, which greatly displeased Michael Malone, head coach of the Denver Nuggets.
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The latter led LeBron James’ team and didn’t appreciate the game. His criticism was less about the result, a 184-175 loss to Giannis Antetokounmpo’s side, and more about the lack of competitiveness and fighting spirit. As in this event, defensive play was forgotten and the stars of the Silver Circuit chained the baskets freely.
“It was an honor to be here and to take part in the weekend in the presence of great players, but this is the worst game ever played,” Malone said, according to USA Today.
“They put on a show for the fans. Still, I won’t lie by saying it remains a difficult game to live,” he added.
Other scathing remarks
For his part, ESPN network commentator Stephen A. Smith is certainly hoping for improvement in 2024 when the annual game takes place in Indianapolis.
“I commend Coach Malone for pointing out the lack of effort. We’re not working any harder in the off-season summer league games than we did in yesterday’s game [dimanche]”, he told the American broadcaster.
“We shouldn’t watch a game and think that because of the effort, everyone can have a place on the pitch. It’s just a bad smell of arrogance, they take fans for granted.