Friday, February 18, 2011

9 Things I Like About NBA All-Star Weekend

With Selection Sunday just over three weeks away, we step aside from the college game and focus our attention on NBA All-Star Weekend. Ever since we were a little onion, this weekend has been one of the favorites of the year. Granted, there have been some low quality All-Star weekends throughout our time, but with NBA interest level near an all-time high, there are plenty of reasons to get excited for the festivities in Los Angeles. Here are nine reasons why we are excited.  

9. Never Say Never: Just when you thought you couldn't get anymore Beiber in your life, you stand corrected. Beibs will take the floor on Friday night as part of the Celebrity Game. Some of the other celebrities and sports legends participating include Jimmy Kimmel, ESPN's Bill Simmons, Scottie Pippen, BJ Armstrong, A.C. Green, "Phil" from Modern Family, and Rob Kardashian (will we ever have a Kardashian-free event?). 

8. MeloMania: If you weren't sick of all the Carmelo Anthony trade rumors before, good chance you will be after this weekend. There are already reports that there will be a meeting between Carmelo and NJ Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov to discuss the on again off again deal that would bring Melo to NJ/Brooklyn. By the time All-Star weekend is over, there will only be three days until the trade deadline. Question is, a week from now will Melo be in New Jersey, New York, or Denver?

A young Ray-Ray at UConn (ESPN)
7. Big East Domination: Even when writing about The Association, Daily Onions can figure out a way to get some (Big) East coast bias in there. Of all the players competing in the Rookie/Sophomore game and the All-Star game on Sunday, the Big East has the most alums with 7 - Wes Johnson, Melo, Wesley Matthews, DaJuan Blair, Ray Allen, Dwyane Wade* and Greg Monroe (*Marquette wasn't in the Big East when Wade was in school - we'll take it anyway). Surprisngly, The Pac-10 is next with a sneaky group of 6 - Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, Landry Fields, James Harden, Taj Gibson and Jrue Holiday) The SEC is third with 6 players, thanks to the trio of Kentucky rookies (John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe). Let's hope Cousins doesn't get in a fight with any of his Rookie teammates tonight. 

6. Big Three: No not that Big Three (Heat). No not that Big Three (Celtics). I'm talking about Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith being our tour guides throughout All-Star Weekend. Throw in a little bit of Steve Kerr, Reggie Miller, Kevin Harlan and Marv Albert along the way. A+ as always from the TNT NBA announcing/pre-game crew.

Fields and Rautins at FW (Getty)
5. Landry Fields Forever: Donnie Walsh is currently being arrested for robbery, (bad joke alert!!) because he STOLE Landry Fields with the 39th pick of the 2010 Draft. Some wondered if Fields would even make the Knicks roster when he was drafted. Fast forward 8 months, and Landry (Lance?) has started EVERY game for the Knicks, and is the front-runner for Rookie of the Year (pretend that this is Blake's 2nd year - even though he'll win ROY this year). Regardless, Fields is averaging 10 and 7, is smart (Stanford), good sense of humor (see videos of him trying to sell his jersey at Modells, and singing w/ Youtube sensation Keenan Cahill), and has a Daily Onions-approved bromance with Andy Rautins (out of the 'Cuse). 

4. Dunkaroos: The Dunk Contest is a like a bad relationship. When its going well, things are awesome. When it's bad, its a train wreck and you don't know why you put the time into it. The best, most nostalgic part of this relationship was the 1991 Dunk Contest. My brother and I recorded the contest and probably watched that VHS 50 times over the next year. That contest included Dee Brown pumping up his shoes and covering his eyes; Shawn Kemp being the freak of an athlete that he once was, pre-weight gain and 9 children; Sexy Rexy Chapman who figured out every possible way you could throw the ball up to yourself before dunking it; Kenny "The Jet" Smith who bounced the ball from the foul line between his legs, with his back to the basket; Blue Edwards....freakin' Theodore "Blue" Edwards from the Utah Jazz, was in the contest even though he looked like he should have been a full back; Kendall Gill (Chicago Comcast Sportsnet) and Otis Smith (current Magic GM); and Kenny Williams of the Pacers, who looked like he showed up for an adult-league run at the local Y, and not the NBA Dunk Contest. (For the record, all of these players' jerseys would be prime "Hoopster" gear). You had Magic Johnson screaming "It's gonna get exciting!!" every three minutes, and it truly was exciting, and it truly was the main event of the weekend. Vince Carter, along with Dwight Howard and Nate Robinson were able to pump some life into the contest over the years as well, but this year it will be all about Blake Griffin. 

3. Quick to the Point: To the point no fakin'. The five best PGs in the league will (obviously) be a part of the All-Star game on Sunday (Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo on the East; Westbrook, Deron Williams and Chris Paul on the West). It will be interesting to see who Doc Rivers goes with down the stretch for the East - his own guy, or the guy everyone else voted into the starting rotation. Throw in the mini-rivalry between Rose and Rondo that has blossomed (2009 Playoffs, Team USA) and things should be fun to watch. On the West, Paul gets the start, but he's also banged up. I'm betting that Westbrook or Williams will be running the show come crunch time.

Look out below when Blake is around (AP)
2. East Lineup Combinations: With 4 Celtics (Paul Pierce, Rondo, Kevin Garnett and Allen) on the East roster, as well as the Big Two and a Half (LeBron, Wade and Chris Bosh) from the Heat, Rivers has the opportunity to make things awkward. How bout throwing the four Celtics on the court, along with one of the Heat players.  Maybe the Celtics ice them out of the offense, don't help them on defense, pass the Heat player the ball and then run to the opposite corner so he has no one to pass to, etc. Another interesting combo would include the "College? No Thank You" lineup which features LeBron, Garnett, Amare, Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose (Rose only went to Memphis for one year, and that year was wiped off the record books anyway). 

1. Blakeapalooza: Just like the three-day music fest in Chicago, this palooza includes three days of the Blake Show. Friday night, Griffin will play in the Rookie Challenge; Saturday he plans on touching the ceiling of the Staples Center before throwing one down in the Dunk Contest; Sunday he'll be in the main event with the big boys. Over under on ridiculous Blake dunks from the weekend: 26 (I'll take the over).

No comments:

Post a Comment