Exclusive Interview: Hassan Whiteside Talks About Making the All-Star Game More Competitive: ‘The Winner Will Get Home-Court Advantage in the Finals’

PORTLAND, OREGON - MARCH 04: Hassan Whiteside #21 of the Portland Trail Blazers warm up before the game against the Washington Wizards at the Moda Center on March 04, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

The NBA All-Star game is once again receiving profuse scrutiny for its defensive effort—or lack thereof. Although the league has attempted to generate more competitive fervor by altering the format of the game, it hasn’t produced the results they wanted. However, Hassan Whiteside has a concept that will have players playing harder than ever.

While speaking with Sideline Sources’ Wenzell Ortiz, the former NBA big man explained that the winning Conference should receive home-court advantage in the Finals.

the stakes would be higher than ever

Like most of the people who watched this year’s All-Star game, Whiteside is jarred with how lackadaisical the players are. The game is inundated with wide-open three-pointers and dunks. Consequently, this results in final scores that are so high they’re laughable.

Thus, the 34-year-old proposes that the NBA raise the stakes. Specifically, he wants to see home-court in the NBA Finals on the line.

“The winner will get home-court advantage in the Finals. East versus West. Check Ball. Simple.

The seeding will play out the same, just when you get to the Finals the Conference that won the All-Star game will get home-court advantage. If the players have a problem, win the game.

And I think the two coaches from the previous Finals should coach the All-Star game.”

Hassan Whiteside told Sideline Sources’ Wenzell Ortiz

Whiteside is aware that some players will repudiate his robust call for change. Particularly, guys on the upper-echelon teams because they’ll feel their hard work in the regular season is being undercut. But the former Miami Heat center doesn’t want to shortchange squads with preeminent records; he wishes to inject some competitive juice into the All-Star game by placing actual stakes. Furthermore, it would only affect two out of the 30 NBA teams.

Sorting out the minutiae of Whiteside’s plan will undoubtedly require some rumination. One thing’s for sure, though—having home-court in the NBA Finals on the line will up the ante for the All-Star game like never before.