Monday, February 16, 2009

2009 All-Star Celebration

Saturday and Sunday in Phoenix Arizona the NBA celebrated it's 58th All Star Weekend featuring numerous events. None more spectacular than the Slam Dunk Competition and of course the East vs West All-Star Game. As big of an NBA fan as I am, I unfortunately did not watch more than a minute of the events. But I will however recap the weekend for the rest of you who also missed out.

Friday started out with an NBA Cares event. Basically it was a bunch of old NBA heads giving a Q&A to the people of Phoenix with such riveting slogans as "Help slam dunk hunger in Phoenix!" A wonderful charitable event I'm sure but nothing I will dwell on. Friday then continued on with McDonalds All Star Celebrity Game. Coaching this group of elites were two of the most celebrated NBA players of our time, Magic Johnson and Julius Erving. Now when i read Celebrities I think back to the good old 90's when MTV had a Rock-N-Jock NBA game with the likes of Jenny McCarthy, Bill Belamy and Christian Slater. So I was excited to see who was in attendance of this event only to have my hopes and dreams shot down. To the NBA, a celebrity is really just an obscure athlete. Participants in this years event included 10 Basketball players (consisting of NBA Legends, WNBA stars and Harlem Globetrotters) 5 Actors and 1 Terrell Owens. T.O. with his stealthy 17 points and 1 assist took the MVP award marking his second appearance in the Celebrity event. In yet another even Friday evening T-Mobile presented the Rookie challenge. What might their challenge be you ask? It is the Sophomore Class of the NBA. Who dominated the fresh group of youngsters. Led by the MVP performance of Sophomore Kevin Durant's 46 points (33 points over the second highest scorer on the team and Philadelphia's own Thaddeus Young), the Sophomores beat the Rookies 122-116. Friday's bill of events was topped of by the NBA D-League All-Star competitions. This event included a game of H-O-R-S-E, a Three-Point Shoot-Out and a Slam Dunk Competition. Who participated? I don't know they are a bunch of D-League guys that nobody cares about. Lets just say some guy named James White of some team called the Anaheim Arsenal won something. So moving on!

Saturday started off with Haier Shooting Stars Competition. Now for those who don't know this competition is simple. Three player teams (1 old school, 1 new school and one WNBA) shoot from different points of the court. Each spot worth x points and most points win. That said, Team Detroit won consisting of Arron Affalo, Bill Laimbeer and Katie Smith. Another event that just fills time and space in All-Star Weekend. Following was the Playstation Skills Challenge were Derrick Rose, rookie for the Chicago Bulls, was crowned champ. The most important stat in this event was that 76er Moe Williams is nearly a quarter of a minute faster than Tony "French Stewart" Parker. Second to last event Saturday night was of course the Foot Locker 3-Point Shoot-Out. In an OT Shootout between Daequan Cook and Rashard Lewis Cook took the trophy and threw the X down on Jason Kapono's chance at a Threepeat. Saturday was topped off with
the Sprite (and if you are keeping count this is the 6th sponsored event in two days) Slam Dunk contest. In a David vs Goliath showdown it came down to fan favorites Dwight Howard aka Super Man and Nate Robinson aka Krpitonate in the final round, it was all hanging on fan vote to choose a winner. While Howard ran into his phone booth to change into his superman cape, he had a 12 foot basket brought out. Throwing the ball down like the net was eye level gained a boisterous crowd roar. Only to then be used as a prop in his own downfall. As the 5-9 Robinson
changed into his all green uniform (shoes, arm bands and ball included) and leapt over 6-11 Howard to slam down with authority (on a regulation 10 foot net of course) gaining 52% of the fan vote and claiming his rank among the elite dunkers in the NBA.

Sunday was all about anticipation for the 58th All-Star Game. Typical East vs West. With starters like Lebron James and Allen Iverson in the east taking on Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul of the west, it was really the reunion of Kobe and Shaq. (first time as a team since 2004's LA L
championship) Fittingly, the two were crowned Co-MVP's based on Kobe's 27 points and Shaq's 17 in 11 minutes. The West finished the game in a 146-119 spanking. And thus concluding the festivities.

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