I have to admit, I skipped the game.
You can be disappointed in me if you'd like, but I have my reasons. They are as follows:
1) I couldn't get past whatever has happened to Wayne Newton.
Seriously, what was going on there? He looked like he was 85-90% not human. It really frightened me and I had to change the channel.
2) The All-Star Game is a great theory and a terrible reality.
It plays out like a shootaround with scores. Guys are clowning, no one is really trying, and there's no incentive to truly care. I don't know, maybe perception differs from reality, but I feel like the games of the 80s had meaning since there were so many excellent rivalries across the league. It was an extra chance to see Magic vs Larry, you had Celtics teaming with Pistons, Pistons teaming with Bulls, etc.
Plus, the league wasn't the love fest that it has become. Guys got frozen out. There was legit competition in who would walk away with the MVP trophy. Again, maybe I remember this differently than it actually was, after all, I was merely an impressionable youth. I do know that these games today are void of anything substantial, and you can tell immediately that there's no point in watching. This goes for all All-Star games, with the lone argument being the mockery that the MLB game has become (frankly, I don't buy that argument).
It all makes me sad.
3) All-Star Saturday night killed my weekend.
I'll level with you. I was geeked for this event. I had planned a live blog around it. I considered having people over. But, then I realized it's 2007 and this event blows. A lot. I know I'm not close to the first or the thousandth to suggest this, but the NBA needs to blow this whole evening up and start over. It used to be special. Now, it's just boring.
This isn't a shot at the players so much. They do their part and show up.
But, the events are for the most part awful. I don't know a single person who enjoys the Shooting Stars competition. As an added bonus this year, it ended in a DQ and the Thomas and Mack Center booed the winners. That's no good. I don't know about you, but I can live without WNBA stars and living legends chucking half-court shots for a minute. There must be something better.
The Skills competition is another one of those events that sounds good in theory. They even convinced Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Steve Nash to compete. Chris Paul was a perfectly suitable replacement for Nash when he couldn't go. So, I expected some good competition. Instead, I got players moving at half speed in round one, and Kobe Bryant unable to execute a pass in the Finals. Rough.
I have nothing bad to say about the Three-Point Shootout. It was fine. My pick won. I was happy.
The main event is always the dunk contest. It has delivered some of the most memorable moments in NBA history. Sadly, it's done.
Look, if Nate Robinson can't make a dunk in two minutes (TWO MINUTES!!!), it has to be over for him. I know he's 5'7". I know he's the defending champ. But, goodness, it's brutal. It completely kills the crowd to watch guys miss that many times in a row (DISCLAIMER: unless it's Chris Andersen...then it's great). He should have been eliminated.
Also, while I'm ranting, they should outlaw homages to dunks of the past. I've seen the dunks already. I don't care that you can do it too. No more jumping from the free throw line. No more Dee Brown imititating. No more trotting out Spud Webb. No more Kenny Smith dunks. Come with something original like Dwight Howard or Andre Iguodala. If you can't, you lose.
Here's what I propose. Participants get one dunk per round. There are 6-8 dunkers instead of four. If you miss your dunk, you get a zero. The top four move on. Everyone gets two dunks in round two. You average the scores. Top two go to the finals. Each participant gets three dunks. Highest average wins.
The whole weekend can be fixed. We must rally together and make changes happen. It should not be acceptable to anyone that the highlights of the weekend were Charles Barkley racing Dick Bavetta and Shaq break dancing during a practice.
What used to be a great event has turned into a mockery, and something must be done. Let's figure it out together.