JJ Redick Sounds Off: Defense Lacking Beyond Kevin Durant at 2024 All-Star Game

On the eve of the All-Star Game, Larry Bird implored the 2024 All-Star Game participants to play tough defense and put on a much better showing than the prior editions. However, his desire went mostly unaddressed. The 2024 NBA All-Star game ended up being a scoring fest for the biggest stars in the league. While the fancy buckets and the rain of points entertained fans, the game lacked strong defensive output from both teams and any kind of competitive fervor.

 

 

In this wake, former NBA marksman JJ Redick displayed his disappointment at the lack of defense during a live commentary broadcast of the All-Star Game. During the reaction session on his official YouTube channel, Redick questioned the visible lack of hustle among the top-notch athletes.

Redick underlined a regular complaint from NBA fans about how defense in the NBA has been watered down to a mush. The former Dallas Mavericks guard highlighted that that is not the case in regular games but only in the All-Star Game. Apart from Kevin Durant, Redick felt that no one even tried on the defensive end of the floor.

 

This is not playing defense! This was 23 guys, I’d say 23 and a half guys just not trying. And we have seen it year after year after year. At no point, did anyone outside of Kevin Durant actually try on defense,” observed Redick.
The 39-year-old also stated that despite being an advocate for “today’s NBA”, he finds it hard to watch the NBA All-Star Game without the league addressing the situation. Even league commissioner Adam Silver appeared perturbed after the game. He may have even taken a jibe at the lack of defense in the highest scoring game in NBA All-Star history. During the post-game ceremony, he stated, “To the Eastern Conference All-Stars: You scored the most points.” Then the Comish took a pause and perhaps somewhat ironically said, “Well…congratulations.

 

To be fair here, the All-Star voting process usually rewards elite scorers and flashy playmakers more than defensive juggernauts. So it shouldn’t be surprising to see such a lackluster effort on the defensive end from the selected players.

So once again the All-Star Game was an endless stream of open dunks and threes. The lack of competition surely annoyed fans who wanted to see the best players go at each other with everything. However, the All-Star Game wasn’t always like that and used to be one of the most exciting games of the season. Considering the dwindling standards since the 2010s, Kobe Bryant had once urged NBA athletes to play tough defense during the All-Star game.