-I will never, ever forget about Shaq’s entrance with him and those jibba jabba dudes.
-What I am trying to forget though is the rest of the All-Star Weekend. Almost every event was somewhat disappointing. I checked the highlights of the D-League All-Star events the other day, and at least those guys have the balls (?) to actually try something creative while playing H-O-R-S-E, instead of changing it into a three-point shootout. Oh, and the D-League has James White. Can’t the Warriors sign this guy next season? I’m actually pondering if the “D” in D-League stands for “Don” instead of Development. We need him in the Dunk Contest in Dallas next year. Now if only some rich guy can arrange this. Mental note: e-mail Mark Cuban.
-The Finals MVP award will now be named after Bill Russell. Best idea the NBA had since…. Hm…. Well, the last good idea the League had was switching back to the good ol’ Spalding basketballs instead of using those toy store balls. If there were any other good ideas I left out in recent years, let me know in the comment section.
-The game itself on Sunday Night wasn’t all that bad. But like KG said to Craig Sager in an interview, it was weird to see the West play a zone defense a couple of times. At least let guys get into the paint for the first three quarters. I also saw the East grab Shaq by the arm twice in the third quarter when he had a wide open lane to go in for the dunk. That was a lame move by the defense.
-Speaking of Shaq: if he is still playing in 2012, averaging 3,6 point and 2,1 boards in about 10 minutes per game, I will still try to do my best to get him in the All-Star Game, maybe as a write-in vote or something. TNT should sign this guy already, even though he’s still playing, just to have his rights before he actually retires. You know, ABA style like they did back in the days with someone like Moses Malone. Get him before someone else can.
-Enough about Shaq, let’s give Kobe some attention. Funny that he said before the game that he wouldn’t play too many minutes, giving the young guys a chance. Noble statement, but in the end Kobe had 27 points, 4 boards, 4 assists and 4 steals in 27 minutes. You could see it in the opening minutes that he was completely focused, there was no doubt in his mind he would win the game, and the MVP award. You could just see it. And four quarters later, it happened. Maybe this doesn’t even surprise me anymore.
-If Kevin Durant made one point (or 46) during the All-Star Weekend it was that we can’t deny him anymore. Next year he must play on Sunday.
-One final note: the Dutch commentary during the All-Star Weekend was horrible as usual. Ronald van Dam, who was in the booth most of the weekend, saw Shaq sitting with a lady next to him. Van Dam: “Shaq with…. Is that Halle Berry? I didn’t know they were a couple?” Uhm, yeah, Ronald: did it ever occur to you that it might just be Shaq’s wife? Van Dam also wants to change the rules: if the East wins, they will have home court advantage in the Finals, if the West wins, then they will have it. His –air colleagues didn’t agree, but Van Dam didn’t give in. It almost makes those 82 games we like to call “regular season” a waste. Sigh. Another idea: he would like it if the fans could just vote who they want to see in the Dunk Contest every year. If the fans want to see Kobe in it, Kobe should just do it. They want LeBron? James has nothing to say about it, he should lace them up and dunk. According to Ronald: if you’re in the NBA, that’s part of the job. So then what? Vince Carter at age 32 still has to show up every year because fans have fond memories of 2000? Yao and Yi would be in it because, you know, China is big? Sigh. Way to ruin 58 years of All-Star history, you idiot. To all the people in U.S. complaining about Reggie Miller: you ain’t heard nothing yet.
-Vince Carter is still a Net. As a fan of the team, I’m really happy about that. I still have faith in Rod and Kiki. Post the obligatory “Vince will be gone this summer” below; I don’t care, because I’m happy with my team.
-Alvin Gentry is now the head coach of the Suns, and Phoenix had three straight victories scoring at least 140 points in each game. But happiness can’t last forever, because Amar’e Stoudemire will be out for the next two months. Should’ve kept those goggles, man. Let’s keep an eye on this team, because they’re down to three bigs now: Shaq, and Louis “Rock the Pony” Admunson. And Robin “The Other Brother” Lopez if he can get some minutes.
-About the Bulls-Kings trade: Does this means John Salmons will come off the bench? You know Salmons won’t be happy about that, and isn’t one to shy away about those things. It seems that it is always an upstream battle for Salmons. If I were Del Negro I would two things: 1) Get a haircut. 2) Start Salmons instead of Ben Gordon. Salmons is bigger, and definitely an upgrade defensively compared to Gordon. I know Brad Miller shed a tear or two talking about leaving Sacramento, which just shows that for some people, the NBA is not all about business. I hope he does well in Chicago, and regains some of his old form. When Miller was with the Bulls earlier in his career, I only remember him for one thing: he got lucky because the haymaker Shaq (as a Laker) once threw at him barely missed the back of his head. Nocioni could be a fan favorite in Sacramento, and a healthy Drew Gooden can certainly provide some scoring and rebounds, but this trade doesn’t make the Kings better. They needed to do something though, and there’s no other team in the NBA is more in need of a high draft pick than the Kings.
-About the Magic-Rockets trade: And the rich get richer. The Magic lost their starting point guard for the season, and what is their reaction? They trade for another starting point guard. You could argue that Rafer Alston isn’t exactly All-Star material; he’s certainly no slouch either. Smart move by Otis Smith, keeping his team competitive and didn’t have to give up too much for it. And although I had some doubts why Houston traded Alston, Aaron Brooks showed me Friday night against the Mavericks that he is running the show now (19 points, 6 boards, 8 assists and 2 steals).
-Larry Hughes wants minutes, but he’s now a member of the Knicks who have plenty of guards as it is. Wilson Chandler is actually starting at shooting guard, and you also have Q-Rich and Nate playing behind (or with) Chandler and Duhon. So where does that leave Hughes? I really don’t get it.
-Oh, and I like the Chris Wilcox trade. In his previous three seasons as a Sonic he averaged about 13,5 ppg and 7,5 rpg, and he could be effective in Mike D’Antoni’s system.
One final note:
-R.I.P. mr. Larry Miller. 64 is way too young….