The On Deck Circle

The unofficial home of Real Talk

NBA All-Star Weekend Running Diary Review

Posted by Blake Murphy on February 18, 2008

I’ll be lightly blogging the entire NBA All-Star weekend to throw up early Monday in place of my usual Week in Review.

12 – Feelings: Free Kangol hat, thanks Davey. Eats: Westgate Sub spicy hamburger, instant coffee. Album: Jay Z, Kingdom Come. Lyric: “I bet you never seen it like this.” Read up on the NBA Cares Day of Service events today. For a league that gets a bad media rap, the NBA does an awful lot of really good stuff in NBA communities. The NBA Cares program is fantastic, as all the players seem legitimate and many go beyond the call of the program. The inevitable NBA cares video package this weekend will be masturbatory but touching.

2:15 – Posted my All-Star weekend blog. It got me all hot and bothered writing it.

4 – Recorded a 7 minute test Podcast on my own, one take. Added some music and tried to tighten it up. Not bad for a first try, I suppose.

5:30 – Hisser convinces me to post the Podcast. Balls are on the line now, and I’m a bit nervous…nobody will listen anyways, though, so I think I’m safe.

6:55 – Feelings: Sexually vulnerable. Eats: Little Caesar’s walk-in special, crazy bread, and Sprite Zero. Album: Fabolous, Real Talk. Lyric: “I need to holler at somebody real.” Commercial break fodder: Jeopardy.

7:05 –McDonald’s Celebrity game time and there are actually some good players and athletes in here, plus a big hip hop representation, possibly because of my backhanded comment in the blog earlier today. The game is on channel 96, so I can watch on TV instead of the computer. Their ‘key matchup’ is Deion Sanders against Master P.

7:06 – This should be a lot of fun, the coaches are Mic’d up and Deion is talking a lot of shit to everyone. Chris Paul on Deion, “He’s not old, but he’s something like it.”

7:11 – They did a really awkward Tarot Card reading with Stat Stoudemire. Really strange.

7:20 – Tons of cheesy lines in the player intros, but at least the players seem excited. We also got a good helping of awkward white guy-black guy high fives.

7:22 – The Hornets are going to take this. They are funnier and more personable, and the Tucker-Mayweather-Sanders-Crews combo is tough to mess with.

7:26 – They try to get a laugh out of Shaq, but he gives a calm and somber (read: boring) interview.

7:50 – Terrell Owens joins the game! Yes! He suits up with New Orleans, down 9. This is fun.

8:05 – It’s halftime and while it’s been entertaining and cheesy, they are focusing way too much on Stephen A and Bill Walton. They’re also trading Deion to the losing team (for Carver from The Wire) to team up with TO, which is pretty lame. Saracen from Friday Night Lights got some run though, so that’s nice. Floyd Mayweather is your player of the half, for sure. Money.

8:13 – The T-Mobile Obvious Question Halftime Report made its way to New Orleans for this doozy to Jason Kidd, “Is the possibility of being traded to Dallas on your mind at all this weekend?” On the bright side, you could see Terry Crews doing his signature dance along with Shaq before they went to the commercial. That’s why they’re both The Man.

8:20 – They do a stupid storyline where Deion Sanders “pulls a Devean George” to not get traded. That joke is in pretty bad taste just two days after the events, but at least they didn’t make the stupid halftime trade.

8:21 – Terry Crews is hacking people hard and laughing his ass off, he’s awesome. He also bench presses 475 lbs. and was a 1991 San Diego Chargers’ draft pick.

8:48 – In what has turned into a decent basketball game (Deion, TO, and Mayweather have all been great), Stephen A blows a 1 point lead by calling a timeout he didn`t have (Webber!). The Hornets tie it up on the technical free throw.

8:52 – Master P ices two free throws to take a one point lead. The Hornets run a very disjointed (no surprise) play, New Orleans wins 51-50.

8:55 - New Orleans wins, and TO deservedly wins MVP. Deion, TO and Mayweather are your top players. Pretty fun game with some decent segments with NBA players. Overall very cheesy, but entertaining for a celebrity game.

9:10 – Hey, who saw the stream not working coming? I sure didn’t, guess I should have. Neither the nor the streams are working, I guess because everyone is watching rookie-sophomore nobody cares enough to stream the Mad Ants and Co. This kinda sucks, but Dave just called and said he’s working too late, so I have the green light to watch the Rookie/Sophomore game at regular time with Beegman and Horatio.

9:40 – Not able to get a D-League stream (fingers crossed for a download) or an early-start stream for the Rookie/Sophomore pre-game, I spent the hour digesting that 7pm pizza (I still feel like junk, no more of that creeping back into the diet) and reading up on the Boom Tho Movement. I also watched a bit of SmackDown, where the huge guy from the Longest Yard beat up a 4-foot tall leprechaun and then got beat with a stick. Seriously.

1:33 – The homies just left after a solid couple hours of young gun action. The game was what you’d expect, with a lot of three balls and a lot of big nasty dunks. As per usual, the sophomores dominated, lead by 33 points (all from 3-pointers, a record 11 of them) by MVP Boobie Gibson and a 17-12 double double by Jordan Farmar. Highlights from the game included Chris Bosh being the only player to bring his girl to the game (courtside, nice Valentine’s Day gift, I’m sure), Durant’s bright yellow shoes, and obviously the plethora of sick dunks (Moon threw a couple good ones down, for you Raps fans curious). I also got word from that my pick Brent Petway (aka Air Georgia) won the dunk competition. No word yet on why the stream had so much difficulty or how the HORSE competition actually went, but I’ll try to find some info on that early tomorrow.

11am – Sitting down to write my Jermain Taylor piece. Feelings: ugly duckling. Eats: Tim Horton’s coffee and a cookie. Album: Lil’ Wayne, The Carter 3 Mixtape. Lyric: “My leather so soft but don’t think I aint hard.”

12 – Just saw the highlights from the D-League Dream Factory Friday Night. They’re available over at HORSE looked pretty weak but Petway did a number in the dunk contest, including an alley-oop between the legs windmill and a standing wind mill (no run at the basket). He also danced up a storm after his dunks.

3 – After watching UNC destroy Virginia Tech (couldn’t get the big Syracuse/Georgetown upset), I spent the last hour watching all the dunk contests since 2000 on YouTube. Definitely a great way to spend a Saturday.

3:55 – Feelings: Birdman. Eats: Burger and orange drink. Album: Chingy, Hoodstar. Lyric: “Clap clap skeet skeet is all I really wanna do but she don’t come cheap.” Commercial Fodder: Arizona vs. Stanford. D-League All-Star game time, with channel 96 delaying the broadcast an hour again for whatever reason. Oh well, here we go. Boom Tho Movement in full effect.

5 – 10-point game at half time. It’s been entertaining but has mostly looked like a regular basketball game, which I guess is to be expected from these guys since it means more to them. My biggest complaint so far is that they are using “that female announcer” whose name I always forget. She is driving me crazy. This isn’t even a sexist complaint, she just doesn’t know how to call a game. She keeps the focus too much on herself (I did this, I know him, etc) and is chirping the hell out of the players when they try and show some finesse. It’s an All Star game lady, you can’t get angry because someone takes it to the hole off a screen rather than hitting the popping big man. Bitches.

5:10 – Mike Bibby has just been traded to the Atlanta Hawks for Anthony Johnson, Tyronne Lue, Lorenzen Wright and Shelden Williams. I took a break from the game to write a quick blog on it, of course.

5:40 – I’ve officially switched over to watching Arizona/Stanford because the D-League game is a blowout and the NCAA game is something special. Stanford leads 62-59 with 3 minutes to go, and Jerryd Bayless has dropped 31 (16/16 from the line) so far to secure the greatest 3-game stretch in Arizona history (103 points and counting), passing Damon Stoudamire’s record. Budinger has also scored 18, meaning the rest of the Wildcats have only scored 9 points combined.

5:48 – A huge 3 by Chase Budinger makes it a 1-point Arizona lead with 30 seconds to play. If I wasn’t sufficiently amped for March Madness already, the last 10 minutes got me there. Budinger gets a very clean block on Brooz Lopez with 20 seconds to go that they call a foul (replays showed the block as clean, too) and he cashes both free throws to put Stanford up by 1.

5:55 – We just got a reminder of Budinger’s volleyball exploits. DP would be smiling. Budinger gets blocked by the lesser Lopez (Robin) and Stanford wins a tight one. Great game that should help both teams come March. Back to the D-League.

6 – D-League game ends, Blue team beats Red 117-99. Pretty decent game, my thoughts are basically the same as at halftime. They missed a cool bounce pass alley-oop dunk as time expired, but I didn’t catch who it was. Sorry, I’m tired. The game MVP went to Jeremy Richardson (22 points), and he really did look good out there. Other players who probably improved their stock with scouts were Ian Mahinmi (9 boards with great hustle and D), Morris Almond (20 points, as if people didn’t already realize he could fill it up), Kyrylo Fesenko (14 and 8 and some great D), Cory Violette (10 and 8 with some pretty post moves), and Elton Brown (a sloppy 20 and 10). ODC’s boys Rod Benson (6 and 9 on 3/10 shooting) and Andre Barrett (11 points and 7 dimes, but with a lot of turnovers) played slightly below expectations. Everyone seemed to have a good time out there, and the only drawbacks to this game were the poor announcing and the fact that Arizona/Stanford was too close to pass up.

7:40 – Headed to Big Daddy H’s to watch tonight’s events with the boys (Flounder, H and Beegie). Feelings: high flying. Eats: pizza at H’s. Album: Lil’ Wayne and Birdman, Like Father Like Son. Lyrics: “***** wonder why I stress that I am the best, ‘cuz even bobbleheads tell me yes.”

11:40 – Feelings: errect. Eats: full. Album: Juelz Santana, Back Like Cooked Crack. Lyric: “We all know a lil’ boy fresh.” Wow doesn’t begin to describe that dunk contest. I just don’t understand how people who call themselves basketball fans could watch that and not enjoy it or actively complain about it the whole time. My suggestions were at least constructive and in a fun spirit. Sure, the scoring is a little off and not every dunk can be the greatest ever (and true, Howard’s Superman dunk wasn’t quite a dunk) but come on haters, that was one of the most fun dunk contests ever. The birthday cake dunk was insane, Jamario’s first dunk was awesome (people didn’t realize how far he jumped from for that), and every Dwight Howard dunk was off the charts. Taking the Iguodala to the next level, the Superman dunk, the Lil’ Basket dunk, and are you kidding me, the volley with the left off the backboard tomahawk! That was one of the sickest things I’ve ever seen, and the Superman dunk will be remembered forever for that great visual. There are alot of pictures and videos from this dunk contest I’m sure I’ll cherish, and once I get a quality picture you can bet it overtakes the gangster Caremlo Anthony I Am What I Am background I have right now. Kapono won the three point contest convincingly as most ODC readers expected (roughly 65%) and it was cool to have two 7-footers win the Haier Shooting Stars competiton (by the way, what the hell is Haier?). Great night overall, and I’m going to rewatch that dunk contest ASAP.

12:30am – Got home in time to catch a Chinese stream of Taylor/Pavlik II from the 3rd round on. Pretty decent fight that got way better towards the end, especially in the last two rounds. Asked by Papa H-eyo how I’d score it I said, “It looks to me like Taylor is winning because he has countered better, worked the body well, and hasn’t been hit with anything stiff, but what do I know.” The win goes to Kelly Pavlik in a close call unanimous decision, and I’m excited to see how the boxing pundits spin this one (ESPN had it scored as a 114-114 draw, and it was close on all three judge’s cards, so Taylor could come out of this looking alright after all).

3 – Feelings: sniffly. Eats: hot chocolate. Album: Lil’ Wayne, 500 Degreez. Lyrics: “B-b-b-b-b-b-BIOTCH!” Had some brunch earlier, did a tiny bit of ODC advertising, and watched Michigan upset OSU in a really good game. UCLA/USC should be at halftime when the All-Star game ends tonight, so it’ll be a good college ball day.

8:30 – Feelings: snip snip. Eats: Banana bread. Album: Baby Boy Da Prince, Across the Water. Lyric: “She like it like it like it like it like me.” Commercial fodder: Robot Chicken and American Gladiators Championship episode. The All-Star intros were fun, and Craig Sager’s suit is priceless. A little disappointed that Bosh didn’t dance sandwiched between dancing machines Thunder aka Superman Howard and LeBron James. Should be a fun game, though KG is out and Kobe is leaving after one time-out. By the way, the Kidd trade is now “back on” with Trenton Hassell and Keith Van Horn in place of Devean George and Jerry Stackhouse. Nice deal for Van Horn, as he makes an unprorated $4M just to take a physical.

8:50 – Did a quick 2 minute Podcast test working on my delivery. It was actually a sizable improvement already, so I’m excited to see if I get better or just get a bigger ego. The jerseys are throwing me off already (both teams are wearing dark and white, one with dark on the front the other with dark on the back). I’m a smart guy, but that’s confusing. Big dunk by Superman to start it off, then a block on Yao, followed by a Bosh dunk. East’s first five field goals on dunks. By the way, had two free bets up this week for this game (you can win $10 betting nothing, it’s a sweet deal), and I took Howard -3.5 rebounds over Yao and LeBron -0.5 over Kobe, which is now a given as Kobe has left the game.

9:15 – Poor Ray Allen, apparently he had a Hawaii vacation booked and then got told he was in the game as a replacement. Speaking of replacements, screw you Rasheed Wallace. End of the first and it has been fun so far (Amare uncorked a three, lots of dunks, Iverson going 100%), East leads by 6. A big Goddam goes out to Alyssa Milano and Gabrielle Union sitting on the sidelines.

9:30 – This is officially an All-Star game now, as LeBron and D-12 hooked up for four straight alley-oops and the scoring is going way up. Big mistake by Marv Albert claiming Dwight busted out the birthday cake last night. You’re better than that, Marv.

9:40 – One of the announcers just assured us Rasheed could out-shoot Chris Bosh left handed. Uhh, first of all, why pick on Bosh for that comment? And second, does he realize that Bosh is a better shooter than Sheed straight up, possibly even the best jump-shooting big man, save Dirk? What an ignorant comment.

9:50 – That was a fun half, except for some strange announcer comments (e.g. suggesting Wade is really upset that others aren’t playing ‘right’, give me a break). East leads 74-65 and we look on pace for another near-record scoring output. Your MVP of the half goes to LeBron with 12-6-7.

11:15 – This was maybe the sickest All Star Game ever. 134-128 for the East. The best part about this game is that the 4th quarter was played at playoff intensity, including the West fouling towards the end to try and tie it up. LeBron dominated most of the game, and his dunk with a minute left over the entire West team was absolutely disgusting. Ray Allen caught fire at the right time, dialing it up like a madman in the 4th quarter. Your MVP candidates (before they announce it) are: LeBron (27-8-9), Allen (28 points, 10/14 shooting, 5/9 from downtown), Superman (16 and 9, 7/7 shooting), Chris Paul (hometown boy, 16 with 14 dimes), and Brandon Roy (18-9-5). It goes to LeBron, appropriately. He’s who I voted for. Apparently…I do want to be LeBron James.

So…what an unbelievable weekend. The celebrity game was fun and competitive for a change. The Rookie/Sophomore game was a lower point, but the D-League Dream Factory highlights made up for it. The D-League All Star game was a fun look at some up-and-comers. Kapono dominating the 3-point shootout was awesome, and the dunk contest is “officially back” to quote just about everyone (I didn’t realize it had left, but I digress), and Dwight Howard officially made ‘the leap’ into super stardom. The All Star game was competitive and really showcased some of the emerging superstars in the league. Not to be cheesy and cliched, but the NBA: Where the best weekend of 2008 (so far) happens.

Please…bring this thing to Toronto.

One Response to “NBA All-Star Weekend Running Diary Review”

  1. stu Says:

    Lebron’s dunk late in the game was unreal…I smell a Championship in his future.

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