NBA All Star Weekend Fun Killed By Corporate Sponsors

Lindsay Mannering

all star gameIf you like guys with big muscles, big verticals, and big egos, you're in luck because today kicks off the NBA All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles. NBA stars and Hollywood stars will spend the next three days shooting hoops, showing off, and making money for their sponsors.

The actual All-Star game is Sunday night at 8 p.m. on TNT, but there's a ton of other stuff basketball fans can sink their teeth into.

Like the BBVA All-Star Celebrity Game, the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge and Youth Jam, the Sprite Slam Dunk Showdown, Lost Dunks Presented by GEICO, All-Star Saturday Night presented by State Farm, the Magenta Carpet Presented by T-Mobile, the All-Star Weekend presented by KIA, and the NBA Tip-off presented by

What's next? LeBron James presented by Nike will be named the Toyota All-Star MVP for the year 2011 presented by Tampax?

I'm so confused right now. Not only do I want a refreshing lemon-lime soda, but I feel like I need to buy some insurance, a car, and a cell phone plan. Is that what they want me to say?

I'm reminded of a book we've all read the first 50 pages of then didn't feel like carrying it around anymore: Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. In this 1996 novel, Wallace writes about the future where years are no longer numerals but rather they're referred to as the name of a corporate sponsor. There's the Year of the Whooper, Year of the Trial-Size Dove Bar, and Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment, to name a few.

This NBA All-Star Game presented by Your Mom has gotten out of hand. I felt similarly when I watched the World Cup, but since I didn't recognize half the brands because they were foreign, it didn't irk me as much. I'll put car racing in the same boat, too.

Soon your kids could be going to Spring Hill Elementary presented by Crayola and Great Falls Public Pool presented by Aquafina. Maybe Wallace wasn't that far off.

What do you think of the branding of the NBA All-Star Game?

Photo via David Jones/Flickr

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