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Polling Place: Does the NBA have the best all-star game of any league?

We also asked about the NBA’s other “All-Star Weekend” competitions — this year, for pandemic-related reasons, everything’s on the same day — and pitted Zach LaVine against some Bulls All-Stars past.

69th NBA All-Star Game
LeBron James at last year’s All-Star Game in Chicago.
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Atlanta is where it’s at for all-star games in 2021. The NBA’s contest — hello, Zach LaVine — is Sunday at State Farm Arena, home of the Hawks. And then baseball’s Midsummer Classic is slated for Truist Park, home of the Braves, about four months later.

Which league, including the NHL and NFL, has the best game? That’s what we asked in this week’s “Polling Place,” your home for Sun-Times sports polls on Twitter.

“None,” offered @KaboomLip. “They’re all a joke and a popularity contest.”

Well, then.

“Trick question,” wrote @PaulCamp1919. “They all suck.”

Thanks to both respondents for the trenchant commentary, but we still were in search of an actual answer. Hint: It involves bats, gloves and copious amounts of spittle.

We also asked about the NBA’s other “All-Star Weekend” competitions — this year, for pandemic-related reasons, everything’s on the same day — and pitted LaVine against some Bulls All-Stars past. No, not Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Derrick Rose or Jimmy Butler, because that would be unfair.

On to the polls:

Poll No. 1: Which league has the best all-star game?

Upshot: The beauty of baseball’s game is that it’s essentially impossible to feign effort in all the primary areas of the sport — throwing the ball, hitting the ball, catching the ball — without embarrassing oneself. “It’s the only one that even remotely resembles an actual game,” @dwtreadwell73 wrote. Yes, it’s really good players trying really hard in what rarely fails to be a really good show. That’s good, right?

Poll No. 2: Which of these NBA All-Star competitions is your favorite?

Upshot: Who knew viewers weren’t utterly captivated by guys nonchalantly dribbling around essentially nonexistent obstacles before chest-passing basketballs through gigantic holes only an ameteur could miss? Look, it always comes down to the dunks and the racks full of long shots. It’s probably not a coincidence that, all season, dunks and long shots are the only things that play on highlight reels nowadays.

Poll No. 3: Pick a Bulls All-Star (you can have only one):

Upshot: “The amount of disrespect Joakim is getting in this poll is ridiculous,” @itskuya1 wrote. Offered @TrooperGalactus: “Horace Grant is criminally underrated.” But LaVine was respondents’ favorite. Recency bias? Sure, that has to be part of it. Undeniably, though, LaVine is the purest scorer in this group, and the ability to heave up 30 points on any night ought not be taken for granted.