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REPORT: Michael Jordan and Chris Paul Were Disgusted By The 2016 All-Star Game

The NBA announced a new format for the 2018 All-Star Game this week that has fans and players excited about the annual weekend. Instead of an East vs West game it will now become a player vs player game as the top two vote getters will be selecting a squad from the 24 reserves without any consideration of conference.

This change was reportedly inspired by Chris Paul, who missed the All-Star game last year due to injury, and by the ultimate competitor, Hornets owner Michael Jordan. Apparently the play where Stephen Curry laid down on the hardwood instead of trying to defend Giannis Antetokounmpo’s dunk attempt was the last straw and led to CP3 calling Adam Silver the next day to discuss a change in the game. Via Bleacher Report:

And golden boy Steph Curry was the culprit.

For those involved in the process, Curry’s hitting the deck and covering his ears on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s fast-break dunk—instead of, you know, playing defense—was the tipping point. Yet if National Basketball Players Association president and nine-time All-Star Chris Paul wasn’t injured and watching the game at home on TV, the All-Star fiasco may not have been fixed.

“For the first time, he actually just sat at home and watched it like a fan would watch it,” a person close to Paul told Bleacher Report. “I got the sense that he thought what everybody else thought; there’s very little competition. He’s an ultra-competitive guy. … I think he viewed it from a different perspective and was like, ‘Holy crap, we’ve got to do something.'”

The morning after the West’s 192-182 “victory” over the East in New Orleans, Paul called NBA commissioner Adam Silver and told him, “We have to fix this.”

Not only did Silver agree, he was elated.

“It was almost a relief,” a person familiar with the league’s thinking told B/R. “It was like, ‘Thank God, they feel this way, too.'”

Once Paul got the ball rolling, the discussion was steered chiefly by Silver and Roberts, who had touched on the issue during bargaining sessions in the past but never got down to the details, league sources said. The third driver of change was none other than Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan, who flexed his muscle because, well, he’s Michael Jordan, but also because he’s the chairman of the league’s labor relations committee.

“Michael was heavily involved,” said one of the people familiar with the meetings.

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