February 15, 2010

No Valentine’s love for all-star weekend

by Dan Bilicki In: Basketball

Something needs to be done about NBA all-star weekend. The game itself on Sunday night was entertaining and enjoyable, I’m sure the record 108,713 people in attendance will share that thought too, but Saturday was an utter disaster.

First off, HORSE might have been as poorly executed as it could have possibly gotten. The announcers seemed more interested in one-upping each other than what was happening on the floor. The participants couldn’t hit anything creative enough to remember except Rondo’s shot from deep out of bounds. And when the event ran out of time – maybe because of the killer commercial breaks – the whole thing devolved into a three-point shootout. Isn’t that event later in the evening? Somebody should tell the NBA that if you’re not going to do this right, don’t just half-ass it, cut it out completely.

Another event that should be cut is the Shooting Stars debacle – just another excuse to foist WNBA players onto the NBA crowd that doesn’t want them around. Every year it just devolves into which team can hit a half court shot first, with the winner taking home the prize. And when you’re calling Atlanta’s Steve Smith a legend, that’s devaluing the word. If you’re supposed to be a legend, how about you average more than 14.3 PPG over your career.

And hey, David Stern, if your league is losing hundreds of millions of dollars, why not cut out the cancer that is known as the WNBA? The Kings’ owners jettisoned their team and now are better off financially; why not dump the league that will never make you money, ever? Sounds like a simple solution to me.

Finally, the dunk contest was the worst that ever took place. Uncreative attempts and dunks with super-low degrees of difficulty may have killed this once exciting event. The only legitimate dunk really worth talking about was DeRozan’s dunk off of Sonny Weems’ bank off the side of the backboard. Other than that, can you even remember another dunk for the right reasons? It’s very easy to recall Shannon Brown making a simple alley-oop and Gerald Wallace putting home an easy reverse. If guys aren’t going to take this seriously, why even hold it? The league should be forcing their marquee guys into the dunk comp or upping the prize money to make these guys care. If not, just go out and cancel the thing.

Quickly about Sunday’s game, how could the West not go to Dirk Nowitzki for the win? Why wouldn’t you draw up a play for the home town guy to give your team a chance to win? Giving the ball to Carmelo wasn’t an awful call, but you should always be going to the guy playing at home.

As for our predictions, the Intern won because of Carmelo’s miss at the buzzer. If you think about it, that shot would have swayed both the winning team (obviously) and the MVP. If it goes in, Melo is the obvious MVP and I win the challenge.

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