On the weekend of Feb. 17, NBA’s most talented fashion criminals (plus some real criminals) will take over New Orleans for NBA All-Star weekend.
But before we make a single obvious metaphor or smarmy condescending remark, I must tip my
hat toque to the guys at Hardwood Paroxysm, who have defied all odds and actually convinced their significant others to enjoy Valentines Day in the sea of plastic beads and Cool Water that will be New Orleans. Unfortunately, the NBA won’t be employing any tactics like these to ensure the safety of all involved, but enjoy the trip, fellas. Say hello to Jose for me, and I only hope your ladies don’t catch Lebron’s eye…or worse, Kobe’s.
I will NOT be in the Big Easy for the All-Star festivities, but that that won’t stop me from doing the vogue thing (no, we’re not ‘going green’) and making my All-Star selections.
As I’ve said before, this blog is a collaborative effort. After all, we’re all reacting together to the same series of events, the same cast of characters, riding the same emotional tidal wave. So while I’m the one penning this post, I have to give credit to my boy Jon, who came up with the idea to do three different All-Star lists: One standard East/West teams, one U.S.A./World All-Stars, and one of purely creative construction.(A note on choosing reserves: According to the NBA, the list of seven players is to be comprised of two forwards, two guards, one center and two wild cards… but with the invitation to ignore the positions at which players are listed on the official All-Star ballot if they wish.)
God has spoken. So that’s how we’ll pick our reserves as well. Now, on to the All-Star performers!
EASTERN CONFERENCE ALL-STARS
G Chauncey Billups. The best point guard in the Eastern Conference. I used to sleep in J. Kidd jimmy-jams, but the guy who I modeled my game after (he wouldn’t be proud) does not possess the speed and offence that Chauncey provides. As an aside, I’d probably live with my grandparents for a year in exchange for all-you-can-drink courtside seats to a Billups/Kidd one-on-one best of seven showdown.
G Rip Hamilton. Even if he does like getting his ass munched, he’s still a stone-cold slayer of hopes and dreams. No Eastern Conference player (LBJ is close) has consistently made me cry while he dismantled my favorite team.
F Lebron James. This will be the King’s throne for the next decade. Might as well get it custom made, including sidecart-style ‘thronettes’ for Worldwide Wes, Maverick Carter, and Rich Paul. Oh, and a hot tub. Where else do you store all the pretty white bitches? Gotta have a hot tub full of pretty white bitches.
F Kevin Garnett. Because without him, the Raptors have a better record than Boston. Bold statement? That’s my word. He’s the engine that drives that team, no doubt. He’s singlehandedly changed the reason players circle the Celtics on the schedule from ‘blowout and college chicks’ to ‘big time BIG TIME’. The definition of a player who can’t be evaluated by statistics alone.
C Dwight Howard. Foreva-eva? Foreva-eva.
Jose Calderon (Stein picked him – first time we agreed on something). It will restore my faith in the league if Jose is acknowledged for his unbeliveably intelligent, efficient, effective leadership. He is the third best PG in the Conference, hands down. Just ask the Celtics.
Jason Kidd. He’s taking Dwayne Wade’s spot. I can’t in good conscience give Wade a nod. Not only has he been injured, but his team is disgraceful. And by ‘disgraceful’, I mean fucking awful.
Gerald Wallace. One of the most unique players in the NBA, he’s been dominant when he’s not on crutches/in a cast/internally bleeding. HP gets wood over this guy. Which is creepy. I mean, he’s no Jose Calderon.
Caron Butler. See ya, Gilbert. You’ve been relgated to play Robin to Caron’s Dark Knight. I love your game, but Caron’s what we call a “team” player. And there’s no ‘I’ in team…but there is in GIlbert.
Chris Bosh. Rivers deserves to be castrated if he doesn’t pick The Big Twisty. Sign says “long haired freaky people need not apply”? Someone forgot to tell CB.Near Misses: Richard Jefferson, Josh Smith, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce (who nobody likes anyway), and, now aware of my embarrassing omission, Antawn Jamison.
WESTERN CONFERENCE ALL-STARS
G: Chris Paul. As good as Nash is/has been, Chris Paul has firmly planted himself as the floor general of the future. The first player to average 20-10 and 3 steals? Come on, those are “choosing two players in NBA 08 and placing the second controller down so you can pad your season’s stats” numbers. Plus, leading his team to the TOP (I can’t believe it either!) of the West has to be acknowledged.
G: Kobe Byrant. (nothing needs to be said. It’s Mamba, man.)
F: Tim Duncan. Not the guy you’d expect to have an ice-throne, but he deserves a nod for his professionalism and consistency over the last decade. As boring and dated as this guy’s game is, I still pick the Spurs to get to the West Finals – and he’s the reason why.
F: Amare Stoudemire. Black Jesus loves him some Sunny D! Carlos Boozer would be in this spot, but I feel a responsibility to put a Phoenix Sun (most wins in the West) on the starting roster, and Amare’s been stellar thus far. Remember when people weren’t sure he’d be back?
C: Yao Ming. Even if he’s prone to sappy Amercrombie-esque photo shoots, his numbers are too strong to ignore. 22.1ppg, 10.7rpg, 2.5apg, and 2.5blks per game, 50%FG, and the rare-for-a-big-man 85% from the line. Plus, Marcus Camby just doesn’t contribute enough on the offensive end to get consideration from this guy.
Nash. If I could have started three guards, Nash wouldn’t be here. Not that he cares: he’s got a championship to almost-win-but-get-cheesed-by-the-refs-at-an-opportune-time.
Baron Davis. Leads the most exciting show in the league with a streetball swagger and a really great beard. Sure, there’s the shake-and-bake moves, clutch stepback three’s, and sweet no-look dimes…but not enough credit’s given to the beard.
Brandon Roy. Absolutely unbelievable what this guy has done in Portland, leading a bunch of children to a 14 game winning streak and into the playoff race above perennials like Utah and Houston. And he’s only in his second year. As I mentioned earlier in the year, he’s quickly becoming one of my favorite players. Fans would’ve voted him to a starter’s spot if he played in a bigger market.
Carlos Boozer. No room, and it’s sad ’cause I love the Booze.
Carmelo Anthony. Another casualty of space. If he could just round out his game a little more…Near Misses: Deron Williams, Stephen Jackson, Dirk Nowitzki, David West, Chris Kaman (DiNote: Seriously, this could be an All-Star team on it’s own. The West is THAT deep.)
*********** Now, this format didn’t work in hockey, but that’s because hockey’s cold and all the players are European and they have a lockout every three years and their personalities suck. But I think that the All-Star game SHOULD consider having a N.A./World competition, just to see if it catches on. (I also agree with Simmons that incorporating H.O.R.S.E. is LONG overdue.) It seems the league office is concerned the All-Star weekend might actually be TOO entertaining, and they’d get even more thug-filled entourages stealing the women of the stuffy corporate
G: Chris Paul
G: Kobe Bryant
F: Lebron James
F: Kevin Garnett (unless ‘Melo starts taking HGH)
C: Dwight Howard
WORLD ALL STARS
G Steve Nash
G Tony Parker
F Hedo Turkoglu
F Dirk Nowitzki
C: Yao Ming
Who do you think wins this matchup (FIBA rules of course). The World Team is formidable, but I gotta put my money on North America.
Y’all agree? Disagree? Don’t care because the All-Star hoopla is just a sham popularity contest that consistently overlooks those players who have made a true impact? Aww, I can’t leave you hanging. Here’s the Dinosty exclusive third All-Star list.
EASTERN PLAYERS THAT MAKE THEIR TEAM “TICK”
G Jose Calderon. Unlike Chuck and Leo, I don’t enjoy beating a dead horse. So I’ll leave this alone.
G Danny Granger. The only player on Indiana that can create his own shot (that doesn’t actually shoot people. You KNOW it’s wrong, Jamal. And you can’t blame Stephen anymore…)
F Hedo Turkoglu. The guy has to get some props for what he’s accomplished in Orlando. They needed another perimeter threat a) in case Rashard wasn’t clicking b) to ensure the middle is always WIDE open for you-know-who. That guy wasn’t Ariza, isn’t Nelson, but it is definitely Hedo. Cat’s stepping it up big time this season. Just ask the Celtics.
F Josh Smith. Joe Johnson might be ‘the man’ in Atlanta, but they ain’t shit without JSmoove. He’s only averaging
C Emeka Okafor. Quietly averaging a respectable double-double on 54% shooting, and the only reason nobody’s scored 200 points on Charlotte this season.
WESTERN PLAYERS THAT MAKE THEIR TEAM “TICK”
G Deron Williams. Easily the best point guard not to make the All-Star team in recent memory. One point and half an assist from being 20/10. Runs the offence like a tenth-year vet, not a third year stud.
G Stephen Jackson. He swore he’d shoot me if I didn’t put him on here…and apparently he made the same threat to his teammates, who rattled off a 25-12 record since he came back form suspension for shooting his gun off in public. (Guy likes to shoot, what can I say?)
F Rudy Gay. Made the leap from ‘highlight reel’ to ‘clutch highlight reel to depend on’. And all while receiving a near-constant ribbing for his Rainbow-Britesque last name. Because in case you didn’t know, NBA players aren’t the most sensitive people.
F Tyson Chandler. A legitimate terror in the middle. He’s matured just like Eddie Curry, only the exact opposite.
C Chris Kaman. Clippers might go 0-82 without him. He’s been a walking hillbilly zombie corpse for the past four seasons, but somehow has morphed into a dunking, ball-swatting hillbilly zombie corpse this year. Whether it’s more milk, less ADD-medication, or his identical twin was finally released from his subterranean cell to dominate the NBA, we’ll never know. Regardless, it’s an improvement.
So that’s that, folks. Agree, disagree, put your thoughts into the comments section. If you’ve got an idea for another creative and totally arbitrary All-Star list, share it. (Oh, and VOTE. It’s all over on the 30th…only two more sleeps.)
See you tomorrow for the home-and-home against the Wizards.