Viva Las Vegas!
The one thing that we have to remember is that the All-Star weekend is an exhibition. It’s a time for everyone to showcase their talents with limited resistance.
Last night’s Rookie-Sophomore Challenge showed off the leagues most promising young talent. It also showed the world that last years draft class had some gems, big time gems!
The Sophomores walked away with a 155-114 win over the rookies. Second year forward David Lee (New York Knicks) was this years MVP. Why?
14-14 shooting for 30 points and 11 rebounds. 14-14? This kid is electric. Isaiah Thomas got a steal with the 30th pick in the 2005 draft. Lee is aggressive, active, and he is extremely alert. Not to mention, he’s beefed up significantly since leaving school and the way he’s playing now makes you wonder why he didn’t win Florida a National Championship. By the way, Lee has the leagues highest field goal percentage and averages 11 points, 10 rebounds in under 30 minutes a game.
Another impressive Sophomore was point guard Chris Paul (New Orleans Hornets). Paul, the reigning NBA rookie of the year, had 16 points, 17 assists, and nine steals. If not for an early season injury Paul would have been a participant in Sunday’s All-Star game. Paul averages 17 points and 8 assists a game. Without him the Hornets don’t have much to speak of and his celebrity in that city is a dynamite combination with N.O. Saints running back Reggie Bush.
All in all last night was a good opening night to the All-Star festivities. One day soon I’ll be in the Celebrity All-Star game along side Nelly and Carrot Top. They need to show the Wizard’s Wednesday man some love!
Tonight is when the true fun begins though. Tonight is when we’ll see just how much Vegas can offer to the NBA All-Star experience. The Three Point Shootout, featuring Wizards Guard Gilbert Arenas, should be an interesting display. The Shooting Stars Challenge became sexy with retired legend Scottie Pippen representing the Bulls. Especially, since news dropped this week that he is contemplating a return to the game.
My only problem with tonight is the Slam Dunk Competition. There aren’t any highlight names on the docket unless you count 2006 champ Nate Robinson. But he’s 5’8”! This Slam Dunk contest is watered down because the stars don’t come out to play. They shun this event more and more because it’s hard to be a creative dunker.
The stars align in the skills competition. Kobe Bryant, D. Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Paul. Minus Paul that would be one hell of a Slam Dunk competition.