Saturday, February 14, 2009

I (HEART) ALL STAR WEEKEND: Saturday Liveblogging

Well, normally we would cue that generic, dated music that the Bulls used in the 90s to intimidate their opponents in pre-game, but our 8-track player is mon the fritz.

So, with no further Bob McAdoo, our first liveblog. Feel the thrill.

Intro music montage by Britney Spears. How relevant. How fitting, to have such a musical legend "sing" while we see highlights of hoop legends like Michael Jordan and Larry Bird. Or is it artsy? Is TNT trying to warn us? To tell us to beware, that this is gonna be a trainwreck that may have once been hot? I don't know. But this song is the Inna Gadda Da Vida of pop tart songs. WILL IT EVER END?!??

(It did.)

Oh yay. Let's kick the night off with a bang with... Shooting Stars. Luckily I'm on DVR (Oh wait. So much for LIVEblogging. DVRblogging?), so this could take anywhere between 15 minutes and a sip of Pepsi.

Did they turn off the house sound or is no one cheering for our incredible Shooting Stars contestants? Come on. All-Star Weekend and Aron Aflalo doesn't get a standing O? Does Phoenix hate America? I thought we got past the MLK thing.

Wait. Maybe the sound was off so we wouldn't hear the crowd booing Laimbeer. Seriously.

Derek Fisher got a cheer. For the record, Lisa Leslie is taller than Michael Cooper. Maybe that's obvious to the average sports fan. I guess that's one reason to keep this competition around. It's like when you finally see movie stars on the red carpet and how they're dwarfed by anybody that even thinks about the 6-foot mark.

Tim Duncan got booed. What a good sport for even being there. Is there any way a primetime Larry Bird or Bernard King is caught dead doing this? Being the best PF ever gets you a pretty long leash. In other news, David Robinson is still smiling.

Fratello and Reggie try their hardest to care. Kudos, fellas. Kudos.

Poor Laimbeer has to put on a jersey and game shorts. This is like the Good Sport Festival. Really. They know this is the undercard to the undercard, and they're still putting on the good face. Ice cream cones for everybody.

Lisa Leslie and Michael Cooper are wearing pink shoes, but apparently Derek Fisher is pro-cancer. Jazz fans may have been right about his Team Playerness.

Dan Majerle kind of looks like the poor man's Lance Armstrong. If he's not married, he should check out Jillian Barberie, the poor man's Sheryl Crow.

Memo to the Spurs: Timmy is only clutch from the 3-point line in. Memo to Timmy: Use the glass; it's your thing.

Does Shooting Stars really need a first round? Can't we just have it be ONE round, winner wins?

Laimbeer really needs that Gatorade after shooting, what, 6 shots? Six electrolyte-taxing shots.

Thank you, Cheryl Miller, for putting this contest in the context of championships and Olympic gold medals. What? Not enough time to ask how it compared to seeing their first child born?

Do you think Reggie is a supportive brother, a competitive brother, or what? And if he's Supportive Brother, was he ok with the terrible cornrows? I would pay to have a ticker of Reggie's Thoughts while his sister interviews players.

Skills Challenge. I'm going with Derrick Rose.

And I was right. I like how little it looks like he cares. Please tell me Cheryl Miller will come and ask him how this compares to being drafted #1 and saving a busful of schoolchildren from careening off a cliff.

Who is this Asian girl singing about the 3-point contest? Was William Hung busy? Why does every song have to sound like Beyonce' turned it down?

3 Point Contest. I'm going with Rashard Lewis or Jason Kapono. I love Granger, but he needs somebody guarding him to make it worth his while.

Kenny to Reggie: "Remember when I beat you?" Love it. Kenny's championship rings are the ultimate trump card, but having a 3-Point Contest win over the great Reggie Miller has gotta be pretty fun too.

Kenny and Reggie are right about Lewis. Too much movement. Too much legs. That doesn't bode well for later rounds. If the contest were realistic, Hedo Turkoglu would shoot Rashard's last two racks and save his butt.

Poor Bibby. Like Donnie, he is out of his element.

What's worse? Wade's white blazer? Or the thing under his eye that SAYS HIS LAST NAME ON IT? South Beach fashion rules. And when it meets NBA fashion, it rules that much more.

Was this the worst 3-point contest ever? So anticlimatic. There was more suspense when Phoenix was bricking their halfcourt shots in the first competition. Having to defend his title next year is the only way Daequan Cook was participating in All-Star Weekend ever again. That or Mr. Congeniality. Feel free to veer off that one tone every once in awhile, DQ.

Honestly, Daequan Cook gets to say he's in a class with Larry Bird? The NBA needs to step in and a) make a hierarchy of years that the competition was actually good and b) force its stars to participate.

Oh no. I just caught up with DVR. Reality strikes back.

Kevin WHOdolf? He looks like a bad cross between Tommy Lee, Jesse Malin, and Little Steven, playing the songs that Kid Rock and Fred Durst wrote on some lost weekend in Primm, NV. (Sidenote: If I hear another crappy artist think they're clever by leaving the line hanging, "make you come" and then following up with a witty "alive" or "to your senses," I will carve out my cochlea with a spork. I'm serious enough that I'm keeping one shrinkwrapped in my glovebox just in case.) Is he even singing? I get the feeling this is hardcore lipsync, especially when the big moment harmony shows him with his mouth closed. "I wish I could be as cool as you." Who ISN'T he singing to?

Dear J.R., There are cameras on you and your ogling eyes. Just because their orange outfits remind you of Hooters, doesn't mean you should relapse into Post-Game Wings behavior.

At least Dwight Howard is dancing. Rudy Fernandez doesn't know what to do. I think he just asked Whodolf if he knows any merengue...

Another weird pre-event montage. Another stripper-turned-singer. Who knew the Spice Channel was a co-sponsor?

Update: It's the Pussycat Dolls. So the stripper-turned-siner thing wasn't even a joke. Please tell me I'll never have a daughter.

The judges. Tom Chambers has one of the Top 5 All Time In-Game Dunks. Dan Majerle cleans up nice. Kevin Johnson brings some political weight and then the two champs- Ceballos and Nance. I hope they fall somewhere in between Hard To Impress and Unreasonably Blown Away By Just About Anything.

J.R. Smith's shoes look like they're being blurred out. That was a pretty great dunk to kick it off. Chambers and KJ 8 it up. (Ba dum tssss)

Replacement Rudy is wearing the most obscure jersey ever. Behind the back. Off the backboard. Tomahawk. It shows some style. Kind of like Granger needs somebody in his grill to knock down threes, Rudy does better dunking in traffic. I like that about him. He dunks like a college player, with abandon and a little bit of animal instinct. Hard to showcase that when people are WAITING for you to dunk.

Next up, Nate Robinson will be pulling off his Knicks jersey to reveal the first pro basketball player with the last name Robinson. Thanks for the history lesson, everyone.

Nate Robinson skies. He's bringing it back home for Kenny Sky Walker.

The Defending Champ. Like it. Impressive, but saving some for the honeymoon.

Gasol and Fernandez struggle with a little backboard bounce. "This is the amateurism of Spain." Nice, Kenny. Gasol costs Fernandez a good score. Very cool dunk. I like the experimentation behind the basket.

Nate Robinson uses a teammate as a step-up. Weak. For the record, I did this in a game in 8th Grade. And I was a white kid with lead feet and no hops.

Dwight Howard is bringing out a second basket. 12 feet tall. Mixing. It. Up. And a phone booth? A flair for the dramatic. Love it.

How does Luis Scola get a front row seat? Isn't there some kind of hierarchy that would prevent this?

Nate Robinson & Kryptonite. Way to not be overshadowed by Mr. Props. And even stick it to him. That Dominique-esque dunk was the real deal too.

Chris Tucker is here? And the black guy from Scrubs? Well, now we know that All-Star Weekend is a big deal.

LeBron is putting his name on the list for next year's contest. Thunderthief. But it's about time. Kobe and Vince, you're on the clock.

Nate Robinson wins. Dwight's last dunk was underwhelming. Maybe he burned the best ones a little early. And Robinson won with a dunk I did in a game in 8th Grade. So that's nice.

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