Stephen A Smith Credit: First Take

This weekend, Stephen A Smith was among many NBA fans disappointed by the lack of spirit and competitiveness throughout the league’s All-Star weekend in Indianapolis.

The First Take host reacted to the uncompetitive exhibition on Monday morning, calling for the league to get rid of it altogether if NBA stars are going to go through the motions.

“What transpired last night was an absolute travesty,” Smith said. “Nearly 400 points scored. No defense, no effort whatsoever. This is the ultimate indictment against NBA stars who show up for All-Star weekend. You play harder in the summer when you’re training.”

Smith emphasized that he understands the game is made for entertainment and isn’t expecting a clash of titans. At the very least, Smith asked for the players to care and be respectful of fans who do, too.

“Nobody’s asking you to compete like you’re going up in a playoff game or even a regular season game,” Smith said. “That is not hard. The fact that you would go out and flagrantly show such a lack of effort on the defensive side of the ball in any capacity is just a travesty.”

Over the weekend, longtime NBA reporter David Aldridge called the All-Star game “irredeemable” in The Athletic. Future Hall of Famer LeBron James said, “Obviously, from a player’s perspective, it’s fun to get up and down. But at the end of the day, our competitive nature don’t like to have free-flowing scoring like that.”

This all comes after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver pledged the game would be more competitive this year, and the league returned to its original four-quarter, East vs. West format.

Smith also called for the league to end the dunk contest and skills competition unless players take them seriously.

Smith may have decided there is no saving the NBA All-Star game. But the league won’t simply flush one of its marquee events. There is no easy answer in sight.

[First Take on ESPN]

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.