Monday, February 19, 2007

All-Star Updates

So I kind of crapped the bed on the all-star updates. I had to work on Friday for the rookie-sophomore game. Instead of pacing the skills competition, dunk contest, and three-point shootout yesterday, I did all kinds of ignominious things (including walking over a hundred blocks from Bourbon Street to my car on St. Charles and Arabella). And I kept falling asleep during the game tonight.

Apparently though, I didn't miss much. When the star of the entire weekend is Jason Kapono, you've got problems.

"I'm just going to go out there, get my check, and call it a day."

That's not a dunk contest. This is a dunk contest. Would it kill you to hang onto the rim a little?

What that video of the highlights doesn't include are the countless misses and bobbled passes that sap all energy from the contest. None of these guys practice or try, so I have trouble mustering much enthusiasm for the events anymore. Congratulations to Kapono and Gerald Green, who threw down three of the top four dunks of the night. I'm glad someone takes it seriously still. How much money would it take, Tyrus? What if the winner got $135,000, instead of the $35,000 that isn't enough for you to come up with something better than throwing it off the glass and coming down with two hands? As if having Jordan, Wilkins, Dr. J, Kobe, and...well, and Vinsanity judging anything you do isn't enough of an incentive. I've never been one of those guys who espoused that young players have no respect for the game and its tradition, but I might be wrong.

As for the game itself, I kept a running diary, to be all cliched about it.

7:25- Siegfried and Roy open the show by presenting Wayne Newton. John Amaechi is already breaking down boundaries.

7:27- Wayne Newton, looking like a Cabbage Patch doll, lip-syncs and still sounds terrabull. Someone called Mason croaks the player introductions, but it probably would have been better if Newton had just Heffed them out himself: "From the Cleveland Cavaliersshh, the fansshhh leading vote-getter, LeBron Jamesssshhh."

7:33- When Bron Bron is introduced, he does that stupid diamond thing. I'm beginning to accept that he may be the basketball version of Peyton Manning.

7:42- Danny Gans sings the national anthem. This is my Danny Gans story: outside of The Mirage in Vegas, there's one of the biggest advertisements I've ever seen, touting Gans as the Vegas entertainer of the year. Not having heard of him, I asked the cab driver, "So who is Danny Gans. What does he do? Is he a comedian? A singer?" He responded, "He's a singer. He sucks. And he's probably a faggot." Speaking of faggots...

7:49- These rims seem soft.

7:53- Marv Albert- "We have not heard 'Hibachi' screamed yet by Gilbert Arenas."
Doug Collins- "Or quality shot." Ooooh.

7:54- There isn't much in the way of limited edition sneakers this year. Bron Bron has some joints that incorporate the Nike cement pattern.

A few players got a better view of Bron's kicks than we did.

8:00- There's going to be a twenty-four hour marathon of "Law & Order"? Thank God I have to work.

Maybe I can structure my shift as a "Law & Order" episode.
Old Lady: "Can you show me where the new Norah Jones CD is?"
Me as the tough witness the characters interview first: "I don't know. I didn't see anything. Maybe you should ask someone else. Maybe...Rick would know. You know what? I have things to do. I'm going to have to ask you to leave."
Old Lady: "Looks like I'm going to have to find out who this Rick guy is."

8:19- About fifteen minutes after Bron Bron bank robberies one, Vinsanity paces a dunk off the backboard. You know Vince, I don't like you as a person or player, but when it comes to performing self-indulgent hot-dog dunks in a meaningless exhibition game, you're the best.

8:32- TNT hits us with Mic'd Up comments from Vince and Gilby.
Hibachi: "I'm gonna cross Kobe up. [imitating the voice of Mortal Kombat's Scorpion] Get over here!"
Vince: "Carrot Top a big dude, man."

Why are the players not mic'd up for the whole game? I want it in real-time. The most profound thing Steve Kerr has ever said pales in comparison to Half-Man/Half-Amazing evaluating a prop comedian's physique.

I left this game in the second drawer of a dresser in the Destin Holiday Beach Resort time share on August 2, 1993.

8:36- The score near the end of the first half is West-70, East-50. It didn't seem that high, but I guess every single play has been a fast break. By the way, there has never been a more appropriate coach for an all-star game than Mike D'Antoni.

8:40- I was excited before about Black Snake Moan, but now that I know David Banner's in it? I'm buying my tickets now.

8:52- Toni Braxton is performing at half-time. From the Wayne Newton and Siegfried and Roy opening, I thought we were firmly entrenched in the '80s, but apparently this is all taking place in 1993.

9:12- While making a note about Craig Sager's plum jacket, I fell asleep. Sorry. I was kind of out until 10 AM this morning with garbage swirling into my face.


P.T. said...

Limited edition sneakers? How about Diesel's blue-on-whites with the built-in slot machine? I guess they'd cost $35 at KMart instead of $25.

MT said...

I think I actually had a better time watching the older games on ESPN classic. Magic doing commentary on Isaiah, MJ, Charles and co. . . and it goes into overtime. Priceless. The selling point was it was an actual game. The guys show off, of course, but they're actually competitive. I dunno, I may be becoming an old man.

MT said...

Another note on our new Gay NBA friend. I can't remember if it was Kenny Smith or Charles Barkley who said that him speaking out doesn't really do much since he wasn't even a quality player to begin with. But, that got me thinking. If we wanted to have someone to fall on the grenade, who would it be...the obvious answer seems to be Magic. There's got to be enough highlight film of him kissing Vlade Divac to make a substantial case.

Tank said...

The Chauncey limited editions were pretty tight.

You can't beat the 1992 all-star game. All the greats were still in it, and Magic had the storybook ending to his career with the MVP. Well, I guess not many storybooks end with you getting HIV, but you know.

I always thought Isiah was gay. Soft-spoken, rosy cheeks, bad with money. Plus, his response to the Amaechi matter was kind of telling: "I'd make damn sure we didn't have a problem with it."