About six years ago or so, with the advent of PVR, I decided that I would never watch All-Star Saturday Night live again. It’s a 20-minute event which is spread across four hours, and of those 20 minutes about 5 of them are any good. So, based on that simple math, the ROI of investing that amount of time to receive that limited amount of pleasure is really poor. That was six years ago, and these days we have Netflix, torrents, PS4, families, PornHub, Hulu, Boxee…the list goes on. So expecting me, someone who has the patience of a lab rat and the attention span of a goldfish, to sit through grown men trying to pass a ball through a tire and then write a report about it, is very unrealistic.
When I began my journey with the fast-forward button on the PVR I immediately skipped the Inside the NBA crowd because they’re terrible. If they ever punt Shaq out they could be watchable again, for now though, seeing Shaq make jokes with Kenny and Charles – two guys with a far superior sense of humour than him – is akin to taking a rusty nail, dipping it in acid, and stabbing myself in the eye repeatedly. When the activities began, Dell Curry and Stephen Curry being on the floor briefly caught my interest and I almost paused to see what was going on, but the thumb was just too committed to the fast-forward button to let up. Charged forward I did.
As I was forwarding at level 3 I noticed Chris Bosh’s face in something called the Shooting Star competition. This encouraged me to up the forwarding to level 4 which was great. As the screen was whizzing by I noticed that Chris Bosh’s team had won the thing (whatever that thing was) and this made me regret that there is no level 5 option because that would’ve come real handy tonight. Speaking of other forms of entertainment, House of Cards is a bit disappointing this season, I’m not giving away any spoilers but let’s just say things are a bit predictable and Kevin Spacey and his wife make for weary viewing.
On my journey at level 4 FFing I noticed DeMar DeRozan’s face for a brief flash but he was throwing a pass to somebody in a green jersey which turned out to be Giannis Antetokounmpo for some reason. Upon rewinding and checking the rules I concluded that this Skills Competition is something of a tag-team event where you add the scores together. Listen, I’m not saying Kate Mara isn’t hot, it’s just that I prefer seeing people go all the way. DeRozan missed a jumper and combined with the guy from Milwaukee (who failed to make the tire-pass multiple times) finished with a score of 45 seconds. And I was like, is that a good score? A bad score? A mediocre score? A spectacular one or a horrible one? Should I be excited? Should I give this season’s Walking Dead another try after stopping at episode one? All good questions.
After all, how long should it take a guy to run around the court through a couple pine cones (I think there were pine cones, don’t quote me on that), throw a pass into the aforementioned tire, hit a jumper and then make a pass to a wide open guy with no defense around. It turned out that it wasn’t a very good score because every other tag-team combination beat it. So there we go, 45 seconds is not good as Will explains. The good news is that next year DeRozan has something to target, notably staying the *&^% away from this competition because it sucks. What you shouldn’t stay away from is True Detective. It’s a fantastic show and I have new-found respect for Matthew McConnaughey.
Up next was the three-point shooting contest which now has an element of East/West in it. This is the only competition that is watchable because there’s a concrete goal, a specific skill being tested, excellent metrics to determine winners, and players trying their very best instead of half-assing it. Marco Belinelli won it after Kenny Smith had called him a “dark horse” which Reggie Miller had laughed at him for. Who’s got pie on their face now, Reggie? Come to think of it, this raises a deeper question: just how is Reggie Miller and his voice allowed to be on television, let alone on national TV consistently? Where is Matt Guokas, I need me some Matt Guokas!
Belinelli beat Bradley Beal after taking him to “overtime” as they tied in the finals at 19, only for Belinelli to hammer out 24 in the OT which Beal couldn’t match. Raptors historians are left to wonder where those threes were in 2010 when Belinelli missed four open treys against the Bulls, sealing the Raptors lottery fate in the process. The best/worst part for me was Kevin Love netting something like a 14 or 16 in his round (which is bad), because I really was rooting for him. They also introduced a whole new moneyball rack which can be placed anywhere on the court and I wonder why everyone wouldn’t place it dead-center, but that’s just me. I can’t wait for Game of Thrones. When is Boardwalk Empire back? Probably not for some time because it kind of ended not too long ago. Steve Buscemi, eh? Yeah…Steve Buscemi. Awesome.
I fast forward full blast through that MC (some light-skinned black dude, looks a little like Ludacris) talking with a lisp, a performance/noise of a ghastly nature, and the introduction of the judges. I tried to stop at the screen that explained the rules for the dunk contest, read it once, didn’t understand and it rampaged through the frames. Will understood it, he can explain the whole thing here and he also has videos.
Finally, it was the dunk contest’s turn to confuse/disappoint and I have no idea what happened there. Again, they tried to do an East/West thing and had Terrence Ross, John Wall and Paul George do some sort of ensemble dance/dunk. For a second I thought they were re-enacting the Lion King with Ross as Simba but turned out it was just him throwing an alley-oop. Speaking of Lion King, I actually saw the musical downtown and thought that the lions were highly unconvincing. You could clearly tell that they just had a guy in a lion costume, and it wasn’t even a good costume but one of those Shoppers Drugmart Halloween ones from the stationery aisle. I swear, they made zero effort to make that mofo look like an actual lion. I mean, they may as well call that thing “The ManDressedUpInAPissPoorLionCostume King”. That would’ve been more apropos. Haha…just used apropos in a sentence checking of my #1 New Years resolution. Watch out #2, I’m looking at you ‘pay child support’.
All three judges – Dominique, Dr. J and Magic…what? Magic? What is he doing there? That guy needs to be removed from every NBA-related telecast and replaced with Latrell Sprewell ASAP. Anyway, all three judges awarded the East the win in the ensemble/dance thing and nobody appeared quite happy, not even the East. They probably just wanted to get this sham over with and head to the local establishments where ladies and booze flow in full and equal capacity. So they won, and advanced to the breakout/backstage/battleground or something stage and they went head-to-head against the West’s three competitors. I don’t get the point of the first round if everyone advances, kind of takes the fun out of it. It would be so much better if the loser would be publicly humiliated, and I’m not suggesting any cruel or unusual punishment. Maybe the winning team can spill pop all over the court and the losing team has to mop it all off while on their knees, Windex bottle in hand. They tell me that the East got to pick when to go in the head-to-head since they won the dance/ensemble thing, which they did get to do, so I have no reason to believe they were lying.
Ross got Drake…wait, what’s that guy’s real name anyway? I’ll refer to him by that from now on..let me look it up and come back…looking, looking, ah: Aubrey Graham. So Ross got Aubrey up and had him stand there like a panhandler in the rain, whilst he took the ball from him and dunked it. He whiffed a couple times which was enough to suck the remaining ounce of energy and patience from the crowd, who at this point could all be seen glued to their smartphones checking what other people not in the building were saying of the competition that’s right in front of their *&*@!&%$ eyes. Ross made his dunk finally, Wall made his dunk which was only better because he didn’t whiff on it three times, and so the East won.
John Wall won “Dunker of the Night” which means…er…something. Is Ross still the dunk champ? Maybe, maybe not, who really knows and who cares since this entire evening is an exercise in realizing just how David Stern failed to do anything to make this night remotely interesting. There’s a lot of David Stern love going around and I seem to be the only one who thinks that the NBA should be much further ahead in terms of popularity and quality in 2014. People still give him credit for taking drugs out of the game, which was great, but that was also in the 1980s. What have you done for me lately? Played a game in England? Pfft.
All in all, this was an evening which should make us all appreciate just how important PVRs are in today’s world. Without them you would actually have to live through this.
Hey, we held our Winter War tournament so check some pics from there:
- All 16 teams
- The two finalists – DeenUp and Hoop Squad
- The Champs – DeenUp
- And the MVP – Adeel Sahibzada – a sick player with some crazy handles, a deadly shot, and a garbage bag full of moves. He is a joy to watch – follow him on Twitter