All Star Weekend Roundup

as09_logo300This past weekend was full of excitement out in the desert.  Phoenix hosted this years event, and it wasn’t short of laughs and good basketball.  Anyone who is anybody was there enjoying the great festivities.  I think Phoenix did a wonderful job of hosting this years event, and I didn’t have much to complain about.  Well maybe about the HORSE contest, but other than that I had a GREAT weekend.  Has anyone noticed how big the JabbaWockeeZ are getting now days?  Ridiculous.  Lets take a look at what went down this weekend in the desert.

It all started Friday night with the celebrity game, the shooting stars contest, and the Rookie vs. Sophomore game.  The Detroit team won the shooting stars competition, and Terrell Owens was the celebrity game MVP.  TO posted 17 points Friday night to take home the hardware for the second consecutive year.  I guess he was a little shy of his 40 point game he predicted.  Maybe next year in Dallas.  I was really excited to see the Harlem Globetrotters represented pretty heavily in the game.  Made for a more entertaining event. 

The real treat for me Friday night was the Rookie vs Sophomore game.  However this year it should have been called the Kevin Durant Challenge.  If anyone had any kind of questions regarding this guy’s game, they got answered Friday night.  Durant went 17-25 from the field and ended up posting 46 points on the evening.  He not only has one of the purest shots in the game, he seems to be able to get to the rack with ease.  I expect BIG things from this kid in the future.  And if Friday wasn’t enough for him, Durant beat OJ Mayo and Joe Johnson in the inaugural HORSE contest.  Still not sure what to think about that contest, but it was alright I suppose.

skills111

David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

Saturday started off with the HORSE contest, and Kevin Durant won it.  That is all the time I wish to spend on that.  Saturday night is where it really got fun.  The Skills challenge was the first event of the evening and the Future Rookie of the Year won it easily.  Yes I just threw a plug in there for him.  Anyways Rose’s first round he coasted, and still took the top time.  In the finals he met Devin Harris of the New Jersey Nets, and took him out with no problem.  Harris got stuck on the shot from the top of the key and Rose finished his round off with a SICK reverse dunk.  I like how all the “little men” these days live above the rim too, not just for the big men anymore.

Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images

Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images

Jason Kapono was suppose to win the 3 point shootout for the 3rd consecutive year, but didn’t even make it to the finals this time.  It came down to Rashard Lewis from Orlando, and Daquan Cook for Miami.  Don’t ask me how Lewis made it to the finals, but he did, and got thoroughly thrashed by Cook.  In the final round Cook only needed 7 or 8 points to take home the title, and ended up posting 19.  This had his teammate D-Wade out of his seat going nuts.  Congrats Cook on your victory.  The one thing that I’ve always wondered is how they select their people for these competitions.  Mike Bibby?  He can barely hit 3’s during regular season games as it is.  Kapono is a true 3 point shooter.  Why don’t you have Ray Allen in this contest?  Eddie House?  There are a lot of good 3 point shooters in the league and a perfect event your feature them all.  Oh well, maybe someday.

The Dunk Contest is what everyone was waiting for all night long.  Superman vs 3 other dunkers.  This year it featured Howard, Nate Robinson from the Knicks, JR Smith from Denver and Rudy Fernandez from Toronto.  Just from the names themselves I’m sure you could imagine who ended up in the finals.  Howard vs. Robinson.  David vs. Goliath.  Howard’s 12′ dunk was ridiculous, but Robinson had something that I don’t think anyone expected.  Howard, being the good sport that he is, assisted Robinson in taking the crown.  While wearing a green Knicks jersey and using a bright green ball,  the 5’9″ tall Nate Robinson did something that no one has seen since Vince Carter did it in the Olympics.  He jumped OVER Dwight Howard.  As soon as that dunk went through I knew that no matter what Howard did, he couldn’t win.  I wish I would have been there in the arena when that happened.  IT WAS RIDICULOUS!!!!  Now a two time winner of the dunk contest, Nate Robinson is for real when it comes to throwing it down.  I don’t know about you, but I enjoy watching the little guys dunk a lot more than the big guys.  It looks better I think.

NBAE via Getty Images

Getty Images

Now Sunday night was the big show.  Kobe, Shaq and Phil Jackson teamed up again for the first time since 2004.  The stage was set, the big Shaqtus was playing again at a high level, and there was a ton of Hype.  Let me tell you this, they did not disappoint.  It all started with the introduction of Shaq.  He came out with the JabbaWockeeZ and absolutely KILLED ITCheck it out right here.  Shaq is always willing to entertain, and never lets you down in that department.  He has been a fan favorite for years and always will be.  If the NBA was smart they would involve O’Neal EVERY All Star Weekend even after he retires.  He is just too much fun.  During the game everyone was having a blast, and it showed.  One thing that was different this years was defense. Yes, the teams actually played defense.  That is the sole thing that has lacked in pretty much every All Star game that I’ve seen, so it was a treat to see it.  Kobe went for a game high 27 points while Shaq went 8-9 and 17 points.  The turning point of the game is when Shaq came in and completely dominated the East.  While I was watching I was having memories of arguably the best 1-2 combo in history wearing purple and gold and winning championships.  Wasn’t that an amazing time?  Maybe someday that combo could exist again.  Just maybe.  But other than Kobe and Shaq stealing the show there were a lot of good plays throughout the game.  Brandon Roy is a very solid player, and Portland is lucky to have him running their show up there.  LeBron played like LeBron, but with a star studded lineup every has to have time.  After the dunk contest LeBron had stated he would enter next years contest, so before the last buzzer sounded everyone clear they way for LeBron to give us a little taste of what is to come.  He threw the ball off the backboard and hammered it home with both hands.  Needs some improvement, but with the hops that man-beast has I expect some fireworks next year in Dallas.  This year had CO MVPs and they were Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.  What a way to end a great weekend.  With big smiles and lots of laughs they both held up the MVP like the years they hoisted the championship trophy.  What a sight.  What a weekend. 

If you missed this weekend you can check out all the news at NBA.com or just click here.  Although this weekend was a much needed break, especially for my Lakers, it’s back to work this week.  The Lakers play tomorrow night, 7:30pm at Staples Center against the Atlanta Hawks.  Atlanta gave Boston a run for their money last year in the playoffs, and isn’t a team that can be overlooked.  With Bibby running the point and Joe Johnson and Josh Smith in the lineup we need The Boys to come out strong from the first whistle.  We need another big game from Lamar, and we need Gasol to play strong against the ridiculously athletic Josh Smith.  Make sure you catch the game and root our Lakers on.  Talk to you all after the game.

 

Copyright 2009 – E. Mendez

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “All Star Weekend Roundup

  1. Corey K

    Shaq’s contract is up this year or next? how about he takes the League’s Veterans minimum salary next year and signs with the Lakers to win 1 more championship. That will put him at 5 all time and we get to enjoy the Big Fella here at home for one more year. Its unfortunate we are already very full at the 5 spot.

  2. Shaq’s contract is up next year, not this year. I have been thinking about this exact situation. Shaq would HAVE to take the vet min to make it work. Shouldn’t make a difference, he already has ARAB money. It may be able to happen sooner than his contract being up though. Now that the Suns have fired Terry Porter, they may go back to the run and fun offense that they are known for. If that happens they have absolutely no need for Shaq, because he wouldn’t be able to keep up. The tell tale sign will be if Phoenix keeps Amare. If they keep him, you can look for headlines about the Suns buying Shaq out or releasing him outright after the season. After that, “Welcome home Big Fella”

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