February 12, 2010

The Black Super Bowl

by Dan Bilicki In: Basketball

That title isn’t as racist as it sounds; it’s merely a nice nickname for the NBA’s all-star weekend. And, fittingly enough, it’s taking place at a football stadium and, by all accounts so far, it will shatter the mark for attendance at a basketball game.

Yes, the Dallas Cowboys, err, Maverick are hosting the event at Texas Stadium and this one won’t be short on talent — of course, how could it, it’s an all-star game — but it doesn’t have a real marquee feel to it, despite its grand billing. The dunk-off lacks name-brand players, the three-point shootout hasn’t been a huge draw for years, the skills competition is even less attention-grabbing and the game itself could’ve featured Allen Iverson starting.

We’ll get to the shame of voters deciding the rosters later, but when was the last time you were legitimately excited for the three-point competition? Probably back when Larry Bird was still involved, right? There’s no real way to “fix” it either, unless you were going to force the superstars to participate, which will never happen.

For the dunk off, at least this season there is a little dunk-in on Friday night, featuring Eric Gordon and DeMar DeRozan. While it’s nice to see a little play-in type thing, won’t this limit the amount of fresh dunks for the actual competition for whoever wins? Both guys have some athleticism and should light up the first event, but it would be unrealistic to see them win it all, especially when they’re the least-known names in it. And what happened to LeBron? Did we actually catch him saying why he’s not in it after his promise last year? If his McDonald’s commercial was any indication, the contest would have been his lose.

The game itself shouldn’t disappoint, except if you like watching defence. But with the sham that is known as voted-in-starters, the was a very real risk that Allen Iverson could’ve been starting for the East despite his 15.5 PPG and being cut by a team already this season. He won’t play because of personal reasons, but it’s hard to get excited for a replacement like David Lee. Railing on this decrepit process is far too easy and a waste of words; all that should be said is that after a continued track record of bad calls, it must come to an end.

Why not have the coaches, players and GMs decide 10 of the players of each side, then allow the fans to fill in the last two? That’s just one way to do it, but any other way of picking the sides would work out the best.

Anyways, as per tradition here at Running The Point, The Intern and I have our picks to make.

Dan’s picks
Rookie/Sophomore Challenge: Sophomores
R/SC MVP: O.J. Mayo
HORSE: Kevin Durant
Shooting Stars: Team Atlanta
Skills: Steve Nash
Three point shootout: Curry
Slam Dunk Competition: Shannon Brown
All-Star game: Western Conference
NBA AS MVP: Carmelo Anthony

The Intern’s picks
Rookie/Sophomore Challenge: Sophomores
R/SC MVP: Derrick Rose
HORSE: Durant
Shooting Stars: Team Texas
Skills: Deron Williams
Three point shootout: Danilo Gallinari
Slam Dunk Competition: Demar DeRozan
All-Star game: Eastern Conference
NBA AS MVP: Dwyane Wade

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