It wasn’t completely miserable and it was almost watchable. Given the pathetic quality and composition of All-Star Saturday Night for the last 7 years, this was, we can safely say, not the worst. But there were elements of what the worst All-Star Saturday Night might have had. Some portions of the telecast were moderately entertaining but most fell into the category somewhere between don’t care and wtf. You should check out the Hype Guy’s entry for some hungover analysis. To check out some video highlights, see Chasin’s RealGM thread.
It’s very obvious that the chances of someone eclipsing Carter’s performance in the dunk-off is very low and when you figure that the best dunker on the court is actually a judge, it makes watching it even more painful. I was secretly hoping the judging panel would enter a dunk contest right there, I’d much rather see a 55 year old Dr. J fail at a windmill than Nate Robinson any day. According to Magic Johnson, Nate Robinson’s “a very, very talented player”, really Magic? How so? He can’t shoot or pass but I guess in the modern NBA, being atheltic equals being good. They actually came up with the Nate Robinson rule of a two minute limit on attempting dunks. Good thing that was in place since in the final round he exceeded the limit and if it weren’t for the hard rule that only two more dunks be attempted, we’d still be there.
I present the NBA All Star Saturday Night, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly:
Jason Kapono’s 24 Points: One short of Craig Hodges’ record of 25. He went first in the final round and put pressure on Dirk Nowitzki and Gilbert Arenas to the point that both fizzled out. The competition itself was pretty boring but Kapono’s performance at least showed that the NBA picked a shooter that deserved to be there. Apparently Damon Jones was lobbying very hard for a spot in this competition and when he got it, he showed why the NBA was smart to leave him out.
Michael “The Russian Judge” Jordan: Kenny Smith scored again when he labelled Michael Jordan as The Russian Judge after MJ produced 8’s and 9’s on dunks that could’ve easily received 9 and 10’s. When interviewed by shemale Cheryl Miller, MJ said, “I want to leave some room for improvement”. Well spoken.
Scottie Pippen draining some threes: Good to see Scottie Pippen in the same arena as MJ. Pippen drained a few threes and a half-court shot in some lame-ass competition called the Radio Shack Shooting Stars. The Chicago team actually won but it was given to Detroit based on some stupid technicality. Pippen wants to come back and play for a contender and Reggie Miller kept egging him on to hit some threes if he wants a 10-day contract. Pippen looked in pretty good shape and his shot wasn’t all that bad.
Dwight Howard’s sticker dunk: I thought the NBA was supposed to reward creativity. Howard pasting a sticker of himself on the top of the backboard deserved more than the 8 Jordan gave him. It’s unfair to put a guy the size of Howard in there and ask him to do a ‘Nique impersonation. Nice dunk, got ripped off.
Nate Robinson’s first dunk: Probably Nate’s best dunk ever but again the judges were way too harsh on the guy, especially when contrasted with the 50 Gerald Green received later.
Clock Malfunction: The clock malfunctioned three times in the Shooting Stars competition making a bad idea even worse. They finally kept track of time using a grandfather clock on the sidelines. Not that there was any flow to this affair or any excitement that might have been interrupted, but it showed that the technical staff running the show didn’t really do much rehearsing.
Kobe Bryant can’t pass: Kobe struggled passing to a hula hoop. It was sad to seem him waste 15 seconds on trying to make a simple pass. It cost him the Skills Challenge. Kobe then tries to shoot the ball instead of just laying it in to end the misery but missed the running jumper. All that could go wrong, went wrong.
Tony Parker coming out of a box: Some stupid little stunt with Pen and Teller saw Tony Parker come out of a box to the bemusement of the audience which didn’t know whether the ‘magic show’ was over or there was more to come. Seriously, basketball fans dont’ want to see this shit. We’d rather see Tony Parker in the 3-pt contest rather than this garbage.
Gerald Green dunking over a stool: Make no mistake, he did not jump over a table. And even if he had jumped over a table, it shouldn’t be a big deal since many, many people have dunked from that point of the lane and just because they did it over a table does not add anything to the equation. I don’t think anybody will agree with the 50 score on this one.
Tyrus Thomas: He literally performed like he was there for the cheque. It was painful to see him miss his first two dunks and then to top that he does a dunk that Kenny Smith did more than 15 years ago. Only Kenny did it better by reversing it. Very sad display, he should’ve just stayed home. I hate Magic Johnson as an analyst, talk show host, color guy, celebrity and anything else but give him props for telling Tyrus Thomas to “go collect that cheque” after his miserable performance.
Charles Barkley vs. Dick Bavetta: It says a lot when the NBA resorts to a race between a 300+ pound man and a 67 year old ref as secondary entertainment. They must’ve fed Dick Bavetta a lot of money to participate in this disgrace of a race. Barkley won and finished the race going backwards as a taunt towards Bavetta. Then he hugged him. Nothing made sense. I’d rather see TJ Ford and Tony Parker perform in a similar race but while dribbling a ball. NBA are you reading? Now that is a race fans would like to see.
Michael Cooper & George Gervin: Cooper seemingly missed a hundred shots when trying to drain the straight-away three in the Shooting Stars competition. Gervin looked like he was 80 years old and under a heavy dose of depression medication. The announcer yelling “no ice on that” after every one of his missed shots didn’t helper either. The NBA should really screen who gets to come back and represent them on TV.
Bill Laimbeer: Stop arguing with the ref Bill! Seriously man, it’s the Shooting Stars contest.