What a Weekend!


     Wow, what a rush! That was by far the best All-Star Weekend that I can recall every seeing. That’s good too since I had to wake up at 2:00 in the morning two days in a row to watch it. It was definately worth it. My wife and kids were sound asleep and I had no distractions at all. It was great. 

 FRIDAY the 13th  

    I didn’t see Friday’s action live. I tried to stay up but after working during the day and then going to the gym (I’m trying to make fitness a priority this year as opposed to the last 5) I was running on fumes by midnight. I still tried to stay up, and I remember saying to myself  “just one more hour”. The next thing that I remember is waking up at 8:30am to the smell of freshly brewed coffee and kids running around being, well, kids. 

     “Damn, I fell asleep!”   

 Saturday 14Feb09 – 08:30

My wife heard me from my office all the way to the kitchen, and I heard her laugh in response. She had told me when I came home from the gym last night that I should lay down and take a little nap as I still had 4 hours until the festivities began. I had just come in from the gym and was fresh out of the showers. I always have alot of energy after working out andas if that wasn’t bad enough, I was excited that All-Star weekend was finally here.  “I’m fine” I said “I’m not falling asleep tonight, I’m going to watch Kevin Durant go off on the Rookies.” Well, I was half right. Durant went off on the rookies, only I didn’t watch it. I wasn’t upset though, thanks to one of my  wonderful little toys that I like to call the PC (you can use that name too if you want) I can log onto the internet (another ingenious invention) and see exactly what, where, when and how it all went down. Over and over again, then in slow motion, and my personal favorite, pausing while the player is in the air so that I can really see where his head is in relationship to the rim. I even have a few screenshots saved on my computer. Sometimes I look at them and just think to myself “Damn, that’s hops!”

So by now I’ve already devised a plan. Step 1 – Get up and walk out of my office and into the living room where my wife is drinkng her coffee and my two daughters are enjoying their Saturday morning cartoons, and say goodmorning. Step 2 – Make my way to the bathroom where I can get my proper morning freshness on. Step 3 – Enjoy Saturday morning breakfast with the family. I always cook on the weekends because my children like “American breakfast”. My wife is German andthey eat a lot of bread with cheese or bologna for breakfast. My kids want some bacon andeggs, with pancakes or frenchtoast. And finally Step 4 – Migrate slowly back to my office and check out the highlights. As foolproof as my plan may sound, it failed. It took me close to 8 hours to get back to my office. My plan was going alright to the last step. After the frenchtoast, I played and laughed andspent some time with my daugthers. I only see them in the week a few hours with work and school andeverything. Then they went outside to play with their friends. My wife and I were sitting on the couch, then she look to me and said “I have to wash some clothes, you can go and watch basketball if you want.” 

“Alright, I will in a minute. I don’t feel like standing up right now”.

16:30-17:00

     The next thing I remember was waking up. This time on the couch, my wife was sitting next to me folding up clothes, watching TV. I did it again. This time it was different though, I was actually awake. This morning at breakfast I was groggy and dragging. This time I am really awake. I instantly thought to myself, I’m getting ready to pull an allnighter. Then I said it loud so my wife can hear it, “I’m getting ready to pull an allnighter”.

My wife answered “I went shopping while you were asleep, you have a case of beer in the kitchen and a pack of Twix in the cabinet”. (I am addicted to Twix).   

 

 ********* IMPORTANT NOTE…we decided to postpone Valentines Day. She had to go to a birthday party for one of her girlfriends from school. I was responsible for putting the kids in bed, which is upstairs, then I could be as loud and as animated as I want. Our bedroom is downstairs so I always wake my wife up when I yelling at my PC in the middle of the night. Since tonight is slam-dunk night, it’s possible that I get excited once or twice************

 

Sunday 15Feb09 – 0200

H.O.R.S.E./Rook-Soph Game

          So now it about to go down in PHX and I’m in the house. I’m all caught up too. I know about KD’s fortunes. H.O.R.S.E. champion and Rook-Soph MVP. He dropped a record breaking 46 points. He stays on automatic, doesn’t he? The kid is magnificent, he’s a scoring machine and rapidly turning into a well rounded, full blown stud. He is presently averaging 25.5 points and 6.7 rebounds. His assist are up from last year, his steals are up, his blocks are up. It easy to see that he’s much more comfortable at the SF as opposed to the SG where he played under Coach Carlisimo. He’s only 20 years old and in his 2nd NBA season. If Green and Westbrook continue to improve, OKC may have a nice foundation going on there.

Scoring Machine - K.D. drops a record breaking 46 points against the Rookies
Scoring Machine - K.D. drops a record breaking 46 points against the Rookies

 

OKC has some pretty good pieces to build on
Westbrook, Durant and Green - OKC has some pretty good pieces to build on

     I also noticed 29 ponts from Be Easy. Beasley led the Rooks in scoring, I’m not surprised, but Rose only dropped 4? (maybe he’ll be better tonight in the Skills Challenge). The rest of the field did mostly what was expected from them. It appeared to be an entertaining game and even though I saw some great highlights, I would’ve loved seeing it live.

     The H.O.R.S.E. game is a whole different story, I had no desire to see that from the beginning. I’m not a big fan of H.O.R.S.E., never had been andnever will. It’s fun to play but boring to watch. Same with the Shooting Stars competition. I’m not interrested.

Skills Challenge

The kid from Chi has some skillz
D.Rose, top favorite for the Rookie of the Year, receives his first award this season.

     The Skills Challenge, on the other hand, I am a fan of. A contest for the little men. I think it should be a little longer but in-all, I still like it. It was a let down that Jameer Nelson couldn’t participate but I’m glad that Mo Williams was able to replace him. I was one of those people that thought Mo should have been selected to the All-Star team’s original roster, so, obviously I hope he does well but Rose is my man. I  picked him to win, kind of.

     Ok, let me explain.

     Someone asked me just a few days prior to the competition who was going to win, and I said “probably Harris, he’s fast as hell. I hope Rose win though, I like him”. So, do I get credit for picking Rose or did I pick Harris or did I pick no one? I would settle for no one, I would never pick Harris for anything. I not buying anything he’s selling. He doesn’t have me fooled like everyone else, I think he’s garbage. He’s only putting up big numbers because New Jersey doesn’t have any other scoring options. Dallas should not regret trading him. When he made it to the final round against Rose, I was hexing him the whole time. Regardless of my dislike toward any player, or any person for that matter, I would never wish for an injury but a little time consuming mishap would be just fine. You know, maybe dribbling off of his foot and the ball rolling clear to the other side of the court, or maybe not being able to knock down the jumper. Something of that nature. No such luck, he made it through the course with no major issues and a very respectable score. Then I turned 360degrees. I hope Rose can make it through without dribbling off of his foot and I hope he knocks down the jumper on the first try. He actually did it on the second shot but it still worked out in the end. Rose even had enough time to throw down a nasty reverse double-pump dunk. “That’s what I’m talking ’bout Rose” I screamed out, clapping my hands as if I were in the stadium. Good thing my wife is not here.

     Next on the agenda 3 pointers. Quick bathroom/cigarette/get another beer break and let’s get ready to go.

3Point Shoot-Out

    

One of my favorite players of all times...and Daequan Cook
One of my favorite players of all times...and Daequan Cook

This was one event that I really did not have to watch, everybody knows Kapono is going to win this. There is no one in the competition that can come close to the shooting acuracy of Kapono, but I’m going to watch anyway to see how Granger does. Indiana’s in the house. Needless to say, I was very surprised when Kaponofailed to reach the final round. Even then I wouldn’t pick Cook to win, not against Rashard Lewis. I originally picked him to come in 2ndanyway. There is no way Cook can beat him. I still believed this  up until Cook cleared that last rack in the final round. Then I changed my mind. I know how shooters work, I’m a shooter. He’s hot now, Rashard is in trouble in the shoot-out. Sure enough, Cook pulled it out. Congratulations. This is one event where I had no clear favorite. I thought Kapono would win, but I wasn’t really routing for anyone. May the best man win and he did .

Dunk Contest

It's a bird, it's a plane...no it's Dwight Howard preparing to dunk a 12ft basket
It's a bird, it's a plane...no it's Dwight Howard preparing to dunk a 12ft basket

     By now, I’m in a zone. I’ve watched all the highlights from Friday andwas very pleased with Durant’s dominance. I’m also happy because Rose won the Skills Challenge and I’ve just finished watching a great display of shooting from Daequan Cook. I have a little beer in my system and I am ready to see some dunks. This was actually a big event to me. Well, it’s always a big event but tonight it is bigger than normal. I’ve told everyone that will listen that Nate Robinson is going to win. I like Dwight Howard, he is one of my Top 5 players actually, but I like watching little Nate get up. It just looks so cool to see him floating through the air. I generally think that smaller people look a lot better dunking anyway. So that was my stance going into the dunk contest.

     The first dunkerwas J.R. Smith. I like to watch him dunk but he’s a game dunker. He’s been in dunk contests before and has not yet lived up to expectations, but in the game it’s a whole different story. He’s dangerous running the lanes but he lacks creativity. With that said, I still think his 1st dunk was scored too low. A double bounce into a windmill? That was a nice dunk! Timing, originality andpower…nicely done J.R. I wish I could say the same for his second dunk. It all good though, I didn’t expect much from him since he was thrown in at the last minute.

     Rudy Fernandez also impressed. His first dunk, behind the back and off ofthe glass was great. Kenny Smith made a comment that Rex Chapman did that a while back and it looked better. That is not true, I remember Rex Chapman’s dunk too. He did it in the NCAA dunk contest and in the NBA dunk contest, so I’ve seen it twice. Rex Chapman did not use the backboard, he threw it behind his back up into the air, caught it over his head and dunked it. I think Rudy’s dunk was nicer looking and more difficult. The second dunk from Rudy was a 50  under any circumstances. Yea, it took a couple of times to get it right but Nate attempted a dunk 17 times in the 2006 dunk contest and still got a high score. I can’t remember what it was exactly but I do remember it was higher than what I would have given him. Rudy caught it off of the back of the backboard and carried around without ever touching it with his left hand. Come on judges, that’s a 50.

     EventhoughI believe those dunks deserved higher scores, he still would have gotten eliminated as he was not better than Dwight Howard or Nate Robinson. They both were sensational as usual. The best near 7 foot dunker vs the the best under 6 foot dunker of all times, power vs finesse,  Superman vs Kryto-Nate. According to most of the articles that I’ve read, Nate has been receiving a lot of prop for jumping over Howard but that actually did not impress me. He’s 5’7″! He has to jump that high to dunk anyway, even if Dwight Howard is not there, he still has to jump that high. I have never been impressed with jumping over people, there is not creativity involved. I did

Nate Robinson left superman powerless in the final round of the Dunk Contest
Nate Robinson left superman powerless in the final round of the Dunk Contest

like the dunk over Spud Webb but that was because Nate was paying homage. That’s always a plus, showing your appreciation while continuing to educate others. Believe it or not, a lot of people watching the dunk contest probably didn’t even know who Spud Webb was. It was 1986 when he won the dunk contest, that’s 22 years ago, so most people under 30 years old probably know very little about Spud. So, with that said, my favorite dunk was the windmill off of the bounce, his first dunk. In my lifetime, I too have won a few dunk contests. At home in Muncie, Indiana I was even given the nickname “Hops” when I was 16 or 17 years old. I had a pretty nice repertoire of dunks including the double pump backwards dunk like the one Rose did at the end of the Skills Challenge, the 360 normal, 360 double pump, 360 windmill and a large variety of off the bounce or off the backboard dunks. I’ve even jumped over people and bicycles before.  I am 6’2″, so about 5 or 6 inces taller than Nate, the fact that Nate can do a windmill dunk completely blows my mind. It is so hard to do, especially if you have small hands. That’s why it’s become a cult dunk since Dominique first unveiled it over 20 years ago. In my neighborhood almost everybody can dunk, but can you 360? Can you windmill? Once you pull those off consistantly, you are known as a dunker.

Everyone knows that Nate and Dwight are clowns anyway. I found them both to be very creative and entertaining. The phone booth and superman cape, the green Krypto-Nate T-Shirt and NY Knicks St.Patrick’s Day uniforms, I loved it. I have to give credit to D12 for being a prop in Nate’s final dunk. That’s sportmanship, he understands that this is entertainment for the people and regardless to if he wins or looses, he is representing something much larger than himself. I think that’s the motivation behind Lebron’s decision to  be in the Dunk Contest next year, we all know how Lebron loves to joke and have fun. He will think of someting fun and original for sure, but I don’t think Nate is going lay down for anybody, unless they want to jump over him and dunk.

 

*****TO BE CONTINUED*****

NEXT BLOG: NBA ALL-STAR SUNDAY COMING SOON

 

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