Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Saturday Night's Alright For Dunkin'

For the first time in years, I watched the NBA All-Star Saturday Night show. Well, most of it, at least. I missed the entire 3-point competition, but since it involved Dirk Nowitzki and three shoot-first Point Guards, I don't think I missed much.

With that being said, here are some more thoughts on the night that was.

Just One of the Guys
I'm pretty sure all of our readers are also loyal readers of The Sports Guy, but in case anyone hasn't seen his review of All-Star Weekend, click on the link and read it right now. The story about MJ at the end has to be one of the best anecdotes I’ve ever read.

Can a Duet With Ron Artest Be Far Behind?
On hand to sing the national anthem was former Boston Celtic and current Los Angeles Clipper Walter McCarty.

McCarty wasn’t half bad; he was like a less soulful Brian McKnight, though he did struggle to hit a couple of high notes. Turns out McCarty released a CD a couple of years back, which is listed, but not available on Amazon. You can, however, buy it here. McCarty is also the founder of the I Love Music Foundation, which is a great cause.

They also did the Canadian anthem before hand, with Canadian "star" FeFe Dobson on hand to do the honors. Apparently Bif Naked was unavailable.

One final point, does anyone know if there’s a definitive list on the internet of all the NBA players who have released records? I looked, but couldnÂ’t dig anything up.

Don't You Know That You Are a Shooting Star
I'd never seen the Shooting Stars competition before, and I wasn'’t impressed. For the uninitiated, it consists of three person teams (one NBA player, one WNBA player from the sister team, and one retired player), who take turns taking random shots, culminating with a halfcourt shot. Two players actually hit the half-court shot -– Tony Parker (which drew a camera shot of Eva Longoria), and Kelly Miller of the Phoenix WNBA team. Miller's shot also drew a camera shot of Eva Longoria, not that I'm complaining.

A few other thoughts:

• Does anyone else think that David Stern included this event to piss off WNBA haters like Bill Simmons? If so, I can respect that degree of spite.
• Magic Johnson was the retired player for the Los Angeles team. I don't expect him to be in game shape, but he'’s certainly letting himself go. When the camera panned to him, for a second I thought that he was Shaquille O'Neal.

• Was anyone else wondering if Magic was going to hit on Sheryl Swoopes, who was also a competitor in the event?

Three-Point Competition
Like I said, I missed this event. I don't see why the chose shoot-first guards like Gilbert Arenas, Chauncey Billups, and Jason Terry for this event. None of them are renowned three-point shooters, so I don'’t understand their inclusion. What happened to including three-point specialists like Walter McCarty (who was in the building) and Kyle Korver? It would have also been more exciting to see Reggie Miller (who was doing commentary) try to win the competition in his street clothes - –which probably would have happened.

The Skillz Competition
This event proved two things:

1. Dwyane Wade is fast. Real fast.
2. Nobody can hit a jump shot anymore.

That's all I have to say about that.

Little Man Got Big Game
I enjoyed the dunk competition, even though it'’s ridiculous that someone gets an infinite number of (or in Nate Robinson'’s case, 14) attempts at making a dunk. For the sake of fairness, why not limit to a certain number, or put a time limit on it like in the NBA Live Dunk Competition? With that being said, I don'’t think Iguodala was robbed at all. Nate played by the rules, even if it took him an hour to hit his dunks.

Grabia has more coverage here.

I also enjoy how they've renamed the event the "Rising Stars Dunk Competition", to cover the fact that they can't get any of their marquee players to participate.

My favorite celebrity shots from the dunk competition:

• Snoop Dogg, who was chill as always.

• Donald Faison of Scrubs, who had an excruciated look on his face while Nate went through his 342 attempts at a dunk. They then showed him celebrating and lifting his shirt to reveal a Knicks T-shirt after Nate won. It's safe to say that this will be the only show of pride from a Knicks fan all year...and probably for the rest of the decade too.

Spud Webb
It was nice to see him make a comeback. I wonder what he's doing these days. Can'’t you imagine him trying to convince people that he played in the NBA? People must size up all 5'9"” of him, then laugh incredulously.

All-Star Fashion
• Thumbs down to Terrell Owens for his purple fedora. Andre 3000 he ain'’t. Why was he there in the first place? Does anyone else get the feeling that he'’s 6 months away from turning into the new Dennis Rodman, tattoos, dyed hair, Carmen Electra and all?

• Thumbs up to Kobe Bryant for changing into a collared shirt and sweater combo after the shooting stars competition. He looked like he belonged more at a college debating tournament than at NBA All-Star Weekend.

• Thumbs way up to Shaquille O'’Neal for his three-piece suit and matching fedora. As always, leave it up to the Diesel to raise the bar.

All in all, it was an enjoyable show, though none of the events come close to the Home Run Derby, in my opinion.

And since I don't know how to end this post, I will throw out a link for ESPN's Trade Machine, a thoroughly enjoyable way to pass a slow day at work.


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