10. I know Chris Paul won MVP for his 20-point, 15-assist performance – joining only Magic Johnson and Isaiah Thomas to reach those superior stats – but Kevin Durant became the 1st player to score 30+ in three straight All-Star Games. Impressive.
9. No offense, Major League Baseball. Your players certainly have precise, refined skills. But in last night’s 1st half we were treated to more athleticism than baseball will give us over the next seven months.
8. Not a big weekend for your Mavericks. Rookie Bernard James was honored for his past military service. Dahntay Jones, inexplicably, was pulled from the crowd to throw a lob pass to Utah’s Jeremy Evans in the Slam Dunk Contest. And, while he wasn’t in Houston, Dirk Nowitzki got some elite props when Michael Jordan named him, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan as players who could’ve excelled back in MJ’s era.
7. No doubt who had the worst All-Star Game. Chris Bosh twice got nutmegged – soccer term for a defender beaten off the “dribble” when the ball goes through his legs. Twice!
6. Sunday was the final All-Star Game for commissioner David Stern (retiring) and Players Union boss Billy Hunter (fired).
5. Of all the celebrities, looked like rapper 2 Chainz had the best handle. Making his skills more impressive, he performed only three days after being arrested for possession of marijuana.
4. I ripped baseball above, but give me The Ballpark’s 7th inning “Cotton-Eyed Joe” over whatever Alicia Keys was trying to do at halftime. Her voice had more cracks than a plumbers’ convention.
3. Best line of the weekend: Comedian Kevin Hart on TNT reporter Craig Sager’s silver suit, “He should buy another jacket just like it and throw them both in the trash.” Worst line of the weekend: TNT’s Marv Albert, trying to read Taco Bell’s signature “Live Mas,” … “LIve Mass!” Oy vey!
2. The dunk contest is broken, perhaps beyond repair. Saturday night’s exhibition was embarrassingly inept. By my count, in fact, there were 15 made dunks and 35 that were missed or aborted. Kids – even it was the son of Twitter CEO Dick Costolo – crouching, 7-foot-4 Mark Eaton sitting and Raptors’ rookie Terrence Ross winning? We need the big boys to return, or this event will go the way of the Pro Bowl.
1. When push came to shove, Kobe Bryant proved he can still shut down LeBron James in the clutch. With the game on the line in the final three minutes, Bryant twice blocked shot attempts by James to preserve the West’s win. No doubt about it, that was a message being sent. Of course, considering the woeful Lakers, it might be the last meaningful game of Kobe’s season.
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