Tuesday, February 28, 2012

NBA All-Star Weekend Review

We were lucky to get the 2012 NBA All-Star Weekend.  Back in 1999, the NBA lockout guaranteed there'd be no All-Star game, and so, the league was forced to play out a rushed season without showcasing its talent through dunk contests and rookie-sophomore games and a superstar-laden exhibition.  

They were fortunate this year.  The 1999 lockout harmed the league's popularity, and it took nearly a decade to recoup some of the losses and find the next Michael Jordan.  Sadly, 2012 will still always be remembered as a lockout year, but hopefully not as forgettable as the '99 season.  

My thoughts on All-Star Weekend:

Kevin Durant captured the All-Star Game MVP.  
  • It's John Wall, and not LeBron James, who should compete in the dunk contest.  Wall has the swag (Doouuggie!!!), the vertical, and the creativity to put on a show.  His behind-the-back jam at the end of the Rising Stars game necessitates his entry into the Saturday night main event next year. 
  •  All I keep hearing is that the injection Andrew Bynum took to his knee was part of the maintenance every 7-footer requires.  Are the doctors sure 7-footers need this?  Are they sure they don't mean...the Tin Man?   
  • Shaq didn't play Jeremy Lin enough minutes.  The Diesel, a master marketer by his own account, should have put Linsanity on display for a few more minutes with the whole NBA world watching. At least O'Neal had some words of wisdom for Lin
  • This dunk contest outdid every other dunk contest of the post-VC/J-Rich era.  I'm not saying we found the next Vince Carter or Jason Richardson, but this year's contest had the right blend of pure dunking and fun gimmicks.  Gimmick dunks get tired and played out; this dunk contest resuscitated my enjoyment of the event.
  • Paul George's glow-in-the-dark dunk deserves placement amongst the legendary dunks of the modern era.  It took VC's flawless 360 windmill from 2000 and built upon it creatively.  In terms of pure aesthetic execution of the dunk, Carter can't be beat.  But doing it in the dark- and on the first try no less- required an amazing amount of concentration.
  • Dwight Howard should have taken more 3's during the All-Star game.  Wasted possessions are awesome.    
  • I love when All-Star games come down to the wire.  Just wish Deron Williams could have hit that 3.  And I bet LeBron James wishes that more than anybody...  

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