NBA All-Star Weekend Roundtable: Can Bam Adebayo shine in the 2024 All-Star game?

Miami Heat v Philadelphia 76ers
Miami Heat v Philadelphia 76ers / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

All-Star Weekend is here and the Miami Heat will be represented by Bam Adebayo in the All-Star Game and Jaime Jaquez Jr. in the Rising Stars showcase and Dunk Contest. The All U Can Heat staff got together to preview the big weekend and make some recommendations for how to make it better.

Be honest, how many names in the All-Star Celebrity Game do you know without looking it up? 

Alex Villasis: I can only give five names off the top of my head: C.J. Stroud, Micah Parsons, Jewell Loyd, Kai Cenat, and Jennifer Hudson. I'm not 100 percent sure if they all are on the same team, but if so, there's a potential starting five!

Noah Decker: Anuel AA, Quincy Isaiah, Micah Parsons, Metta World Peace, CJ Stroud, Tristan Jass, and Jennifer Hudson. I’m definitely more familiar with the coaches than the players.

Wes Goldberg: I honestly don’t even look at the list anymore. Taylor Swift could be in it, and I wouldn’t watch.

How would you fix the dunk contest?

Villasis: I would fix the dunk contest by making a competition between the NBA's best dunkers and outside dunkers either from another league or even well-known dunkers who play at parks. It can push NBA players to show they have the best dunkers in the world and can also give people a platform they've never had before and can change their lives forever. I think adding new faces will bring a breath of fresh air and add even more of a surprise element to the contest.

Decker: Offer incentives similar to the In-Season Tournament to encourage stars to participate. The golden age of the dunk contest was when we had Michael Jordan face off against Dominique Wilkins. Now, we have two G-league players in the contest, though they are both phenomenal dunkers. Also, do whatever it takes to get Ja Morant to participate next year!

Goldberg: Our biggest complaints about the dunk contest is that, (a) the All-Stars don’t participate and, (b) the best in-game dunks are just better. So here’s an idea: Make the dunk contest part of the All-Star Game! The biggest stars are already there, and every time a star dunks during the game, the league could have a panel rate the dunk 1-10. Best dunk/highest score by the end wins. Done!


If you could add any event to All-Star Weekend, what would it be and who would participate?

Villasis: I'd have to go with the most popular one mentioned, and that is a one-on-one tournament. The rules would be the game goes to seven points, make-it-take-it, and twos and threes to make sure there is time for other events. Each game will have a 12-second shot clock. I would also split the event into eight wings and eight guards, with a trophy for each bracket. The players that would participate would be:

Guards: Kyrie Irving, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Stephen Curry, Anthony Edwards, Damian Lillard, Donovan Mitchell, Devin Booker and Luka Doncic 

Wings: Jayson Tatum, Kawhi Leonard, DeMar DeRozan, Kevin Durant, Paul George, LeBron James, Brandon Ingram and Jimmy Butler.

Decker: A game of H-O-R-S-E could be fun to watch. With the shooting ability and interior craftiness of players these days, we would see a lot of unique trick shots.

Players: Kyrie Irving, Steph Curry, Jamal Murray, Chris Paul, Jimmy Butler

Goldberg: A lot of NBA players want to be rappers. What if introduced a free-style rap battle as part of All-Star Weekend? It could serve as a chance for Dame D.O.L.L.A. and… Marvin Bagley III (?) to promote their work, and nobody gets hurt.

What do you want to see from Bam Adebayo in the All-Star Game?

Villasis: In a game where defense isn't played for 95% of the game with a few exceptions, it would be great for Adebayo to catch some players off guard and add some defensive highlights to the All-Star Game with a chasedown or a hard block off the glass. I would also enjoy some Adebayo threes since it's something that's rarely seen in-game.

Decker: Catch a few lob passes from Haliburton and Lillard. Put on a show and get a few highlights. It is an honor to be recognized as an All-Star, but the game is usually less competitive so I don’t expect too much from him.

Goldberg: Bam has scored a total of 12 points in his two All-Star appearances. Everybody knows he can defend and set screens. The heck with that. Go out there and score 20. Nobody guards the rim for the first three quarters, so Bam should just dunk it every time he gets a chance. Try to be the leading scorer that way. If Bam wants to be a household name, an All-Star Game MVP would help.

Adam Silver calls and says you can add two more players to the All-Star Game. Who are you sending to Indianapolis, and why?

Villasis: The two players I would add would be De'Aaron Fox and Alperen Sengun. Although the Houston Rockets are not one of the top teams in the West, one of the main reasons they've shown improvement is due to the growth of Sengun. Sengun has taken a scoring leap this year with a 6.7-point increase from last season and has shown that he is one of the better passers at his position. Sengun has put up All-Star numbers and had a strong showing in the fan voting. It would be refreshing to see one of the most improved players who took one of the biggest leaps this season be rewarded with an All-Star appearance. 

For my other selection, Fox is one of the most electrifying guards in the league, ranks twelfth in points per game and at one point was in the top 10. The fact that the Kings did not get an All-Star when they were a top 5 team in the West at the time is honestly mind-boggling. Sacramento deserves at least one All-Star, and I would send Fox to represent them.

Decker: De’Aaron Fox and Jarrett Allen. Fox has been on a scoring tear all season and has entered the conversation as a top-five guard in the league. It is a little strange that neither Fox nor Sabonis was named an All-Star this year. Both clearly deserve it after leading one of the top teams in the Western Conference.

As for Allen, while Donovan Mitchell has led the charge for the Cavs offensively, Allen’s defense has helped the Cavs become the second-best team in the East. The Cavs currently have the second-best defensive rating and the fourth-best net rating in the NBA. Jarrett Allen deserves recognition for the efficient season he has been having. 

Goldberg: Fox or Domantas Sabonis should get in. I’ll go with Fox. For my second pick, I’m sending Victor Wembanyama, just to see what he would do.