Monday, February 16, 2009

All-Star Weekend Re-cap

This All-Star Weekend had one very major theme, and it wasn't Kobe and Shaq (although they were a close second). It was Bill Russell's 75th birthday, and while he suffered the loss of his wife recently, he was given an extraordinary birthday present by David Stern and the NBA. From now on, all future Finals MVPs will be given the Bill Russell Finals MVP Award. During a time-out, Mr. Russell was also given a big green cake during the all-star game, rolled over by the Celtic's Big Three, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

Phoenix also was the starting point for a new contest, which will soon rival the other Saturday events, and that was a good ol' friendly game of HORSE, only instead of using those letters, the NBA was given help by their little green friend: GEICO. All-Star Joe Johnson, Super Sophomore Kevin Durant and future both of those things, rookie OJ Mayo were the contestants. The game started off slow, and it seemed as though it would continue that way since all three players were a little nervous and not hitting tough shots. It looked over for Kevin Durant, who fell behind fast and couldn't find his stroke. Soon after, it was Durant with the comeback win, who was hitting 50 footers, and non-stop three pointers to seal the deal. Very impressive outing from the future super-star and congrats on winning the NBA's first HORSE, er, GEICO competition.

The 3-point contest had some new faces, all matching up against the winner of the previous two year's contest, Jason Kapono. Kapono was the heavy favorite in this one, but couldn't quite get his stroke going in the fashion it was last year. Perhaps that's because he's hasn't gotten his FG% back up to where it was in his last year with Miami, where he went over 50% from downtown. Speaking of Miami, it was Daequon Cook who stole the show and won the coveted award. The only other observation I had, was the fact that i never knew how ugly Rashard Lewis' form was. It's a two-handed, high release, ugly mess. I guess he's doing something right, considering he's one of the league leaders in 3-pointers made, as well as the only competitor who was also playing in Sunday's All-Star Game.

The Dunk contest....was all Dwight Howard and Nate Robinson. In fact, there was collusion and cheating involved! I'm sure JR Smith and Rudy Fernandez had no idea that you could do things like...bring out a 12-foot hoop, and a phone booth..?! Those two guys had no chance, even though i saw Rudy Fernandez dunk it from a bounce pass on the backside of the hoop that looked like he had NOOOO chance of making. I still can't believe he pulled that off...too bad it took about 15 attempts and drained the energy from the arena. But in the final round, it was Superman, Dwight Howard, who finally met his KryptoNate. After leaving the court, Nate Robinson returned in all green. Green shoes, green Knicks jersey, even a green basketball. Supposedly Nike had Nate's back and custom made KryptoNate shoes, specifically for beating Dwight Howard in the Slam Dunk contest. It worked, specifically with the help of Superman himself, who allowed Nate to dunk over him, in similar fashion to when Nate cleared Spud Webb two years ago. The big news of the Dunk contest didn't even include any of the contestants. The big news was LeBron James announcing on the sideline's that he's throwin his hat in for the 2011 Slam Dunk contest, in front of 100,000 people in Dallas next year. I choose not to get excited about that until its official, which probably won't happen for another 11 months.

We haven't even talked about the All-Star game yet, which unfortunately wound up not living up to the expectations of the rest of the events. Of course, there was the Shaq introduction, which was unbelievably spectacular. Video on that below. The game was dominated by the West most of the time, and in the interior. The East had one big man, literally, ONE big man in Dwight Howard. After him, was Kevin Garnett, who in his 37th or so all-star game wasn't going to play big minutes, and then Rashard Lewis....who clearly can't guard any of the West's bigs. As TrueHoop broke it down for us...Points in the Paint? West 96, East 58. Glass? West 51, East 38. Shaquille O'Neal: 17 points, 8-9 FGs in 11 minutes. While only playing 11 minutes, Shaq was still able to get another All-Star MVP, sharing it with Kobe, who didn't look all that happy to share another success with Shaq when he deserved it all to himself. However the story was too good to pass up on, and the award went to both Kobe and Shaq.

As for trade chatter, not much going on. The Suns have fired their coach Terry Porter, and replaced him with Alvin Gentry, the only survivor from Phoenix's 7 seconds of less era. My thoughts on this are that the Suns are trying to scare other teams into them keeping Amare and therefore raising his trade value. There are a few offers on the table, including the Cav's offer of an expiring contract (Wally), a young power forward with a lot of potential (JJ Hickson), and a future draft pick (or Varejao). It's a decent deal, but the Suns want more, and specifically from the Bulls who saw John Paxson also resign this weekend. Hopefully those two front office changes don't mean those two teams stand pat at the trading deadline, especially for the Bulls who really need and deserve a big splash after passing up on all of those low-post players they've needed for so long.

Only a few more days of non-stop refreshing the NBA news sites...we'll try to keep this updated as much as possible to follow the trades and rumors that come along with the excitement of the trade deadline. Until we get something to report....enjoy this video. Hopefully it won't get taken down too fast by the NBA.

Shaq's All-Star Spectacular


David said...

the horse game was cool, i liked that it was outside also. Some announcer had a good point--since horse isnt a real physical game they should include all ages like bring back larry bird or Craig Ehlo

David said...

anyone home? dmiz get this blog some more action, i remember the days when id get 5 responses to a post

DMiz said...

haha, sorry man. i definitely agree tho. larry legend, even magic and michael. charles. bring back the dream team to play horse! i love it.

James said...

NASTY NATE!!!! Terry Porter should have never been hired in the first place, Steve Kerr should be next. The past two seasons as GM has been horrible, and this team is going to take a few steps back in the coming years.