I sat this All Star weekend out. Only for a brief millisecond did I even debate going to LA, but then when I thought about all the traffic, the rain, the corny club promoters, and all of the male groupies sweating every athlete or rapper that gets out of a limousine, I wisely decided to pass.
So like most of you I watched from afar and here are some of the changes I would like to see the NBA implemate to make the entire weekend more entertaining. I am not even going to address the celebrity hoop game, frankly because I have never wasted my time watched it. And as for the All Star game it self, it is what it is. A non-competitive dunk drill until the last couple of minutes and everyone tries to earn the MVP trophy. It’s not as dreadful as the Pro Bowl and yet not as meaningful as the MLB All Star game. I don’t feel strongly enough to tweak the game. It has stood the test of time.
I Love Cee Lo, but damn do I hate his out fits. I get the whole I am an artist Andre 3000/Parliament look but he went passed all that. This was a late night of LSD and new box of crayons. He looked like the old NBC peacock logo. The way he dresses makes Will I am blush. He managed to steal Darryl Dawkins thunder. Get it thunder? Never mind. And he is best, as a rapper in goodie Mob anyway, not as an off key Bookman from Good Times looking singer. And that second act, The Red Eye Peas, they could go play in the 405 traffic for all I care.
Truth be told I could do with out the music all together, but if you are going to have it, have it at the beginning and stop stringing the night out like a bad award show always advertising a “Special” surprise performance that has been leaked for weeks. After the mini concert, clear the floor and get to the competition.
Death to the skills competition:
No more skills contest. This stupid obstacle course thing ma-thingy must go and never come back. Like Lebron’s hairline. Seriously, who ever thought this up had to be high as a kite. This does not make for entertaining television. Nor does that 3-person shooting contest. All the shots are easily makeable and really what it boils down to is which professional athlete (current or retired) can luckily bank in a half court shot. Seriously? You gather the best athletes in the world, and all the strippers from the western United States together for this?
Here is my solution. Every year there is a raging debate about who deserves to be an all star over so and so. And some years there are some guys who flat out don’t deserve to be there: Exhibit A
So since this is the sport of basketball we are talking about, what I propose is the last 2 players play their way in. You know actually deciding it on the court not on the Internet with fan voting. So for instance this year you would have Kevin Love against Lamarcus Aldridge (or Luis Scola) play one on one with the winner being an All Star. You don’t have to over think it and make them play a game of 21 with tip back to zero or anything like that. Just one game to 15. Take all misses except air balls back to the 3-point line. With a ref, and their teammates and fans rooting them on. Then afterwards the winner is an All Star and pays for the losers first lap dance. It’s what I would call a win, win.
Yes it sounds a little corny at first but tell me you wouldn’t at least watch it? In fact these would be the most heated games all weekend. The players would actually care because there is something on the line. Pride and money. And really what else is the weekend about? Think about some of the match ups we would have going forward with all of the great young point guards in the league. John Wall plays Raymond Felton next year to make the team. You want your all star spot then earn it.
What makes the 3-point competition so good is its simplicity. You don’t have to be Hubie Brown to understand it. 5 racks, 5 balls, the funny looking ball is worth 2 points, then have at it. But really the selling point of it is the best 3-point shooters take part in it. And want to take part in it. From Larry Bird, to Glen Rice, to Reggie Miller, to Ray Allen, some of the absolute best shooters of all time compete against each other. Unlike the Slam-dunk contest where guys basically look for reasons not to participate.
I wouldn’t change a thing.
I liked this years Slam Dunk competition. The participants actually cared about wining and being creative. I will say though that Blake Griffin’s dunk of the hood of a KIa will go down as one of the most overrated moves in NBA history, since Jordan drove the lane vs. the Lakers and switched hands for a left hand lay up. People he jumped from the dotted line over a KIA. Not a Range Rover. A Kia. for Blake that was nothing special at all. However, from a creativity aspect that is something we have not seen in a while save the little man Nate Robinson winning it a couple times. But the overall system of the contest has some flaws.
- 1) Each dunker gets penalized one point for each missed dunk. So if you try a dunk and miss it, the highest score the judges can now give you is a 9. And then an 8 for 2 missed dunks, so on and so forth. I love guys trying crazy dunks, but I don’t love watching them try crazy dunks 17 times.
- 2) No more tongue kissing the judges. Dr. J is a legend but I do not need to see the one once called Dr. Chap stick, tongue kissing a participants momma. Especially when he finishes second! Because you know, next year some player’s momma is going to show up in a Rihanna outfit and go for broke by getting up on the judges table. While the judges may approve, me personally I am cool on that.
- 3) I say have 4 NBA dunkers and 2 street ball dunkers. These guys right HERE are incredible. And I think these guys would jump off Jerry Jones scoreboard to win 50 grand that means nothing to NBA millionaires. They would raise the overall level of the competition.
- 4) Props are cool but this year almost went over the edge. I loved Mcgee bringing out two baskets, and I even enjoyed the choir for Blake, but you can see Pandora’s box being opened and next year some player having farm animals incorporated in to the contest. You can feel it going over the edge one of these years.
Who else was thinking about the Clipper front office having a heart attack as Blake backed up to dunk over a car? Kia or no Kia I am amazed his agent didn’t run out there and pull a Jack Bauer, gun in hand and not let Blake jump over a car. With the Clippers luck, and his own personal history with knee injuries, you could almost feel the horror coming. Like an earthquake would hit Staples Center right as the moment he went to jump, or Baron Davis would release the parking break and hit Blake. Thankfully none of this happened. But keep it real, would any of you really have been surprised.
- 5) The coaches were a nice touch. Again it showed that the players were prepared with exciting, new ideas on how to dunk the ball. And Kenny smith made for a great hype man
- 6) We need someone else besides Reggie Miller to commentate a dunk contest. I don’t know like maybe a dunker.
RIP to escalade of AND1 fame and Mark Jacksons brother. He passed away over All Star weekend.