Mexico Open at Vidanta

Vidanta Vallarta

The Loop

Why you're definitely going to see more defen$e in this year's NBA All-$tar Game (HINT: $)

January 29, 2018

Bill Baptist

In recent years, the NBA All-Star game has evolved into a 48-minute dunk contest, but there's definitely going to be more defense played in this year's edition. And it has little to do with the new All-Star draft.

Yes, playing with your buds -- or trying to impress LeBron -- could raise the hustle level, but there's nothing that motivates someone to get into a full defensive crouch than cold, hard cash. All-Star game victors always walked away with a little something for their efforts, but ESPN reports that winner's check has been bumped up to a $100,000.

Under the old structure, winning players in the game received $50,000 while losers took home $25,000. According to ESPN, only the winner's take has been raised. Of course, they could have really upped the stakes by making it winner take all. Or even better, losers have to pay the winner and wear Lonzo Ball's signature shoe for a game. Oh well, this is better than nothing.

So buckle in for a defensive struggle at the Staples Center next month. OK, maybe not. But don't expect the score to be 192(!) to 182(!) like it was last year.