Posted by: Andy-Larsen on February 14th, 2010The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
In celebration of the best All-Star Contest in sports, I’m going to try to do a running live blog of the events that happen tonight at NBA All-Star Saturday. This HORSE contest is not going to end well, I have never before witnessed a HORSE contest ended by a 3 point shootout before. Oh well, at least they were trying some creative things. I’ll also be commenting on the commercials, the announcers, the singing performances, and anything else that I feel like talking about. We’ll start at 6:00 PM mountain time.
6:00: Congrats, TNT! Because you insisted there be 5 minute commercials every ten minutes, we get the silliest end to a HORSE contest ever. Durant misses a shot from behind his mom.
6:01: And Rondo and Durant both make layups between-the-legs to mean that it’s a 3 point contest, first to 3 misses loses. This is fun, except that it’s not. One of these players is significantly better from 3 than the other.
6:02: Charles Barkley wants his own company(TNT) to “sweat”, therefore losing them money. Maybe he gets a paycut for the suggestion?
6:03: Durant’s made every one so far. This is because he’s good.
6:05: Rondo’s made like 8 straight, all with the game on the line. At least this is clutch. Finally, Rondo misses, and shockingly, the better 3 point shooter wins the shootout. Durant won for the second straight year.
6:06: I am legitimately surprised that TNT went for an actual trophy this year. Remember, last year they went all out and bought a plastic horse for Durant. This one is nicer.
6:08: The claim by McDonalds that “Olympians love Chicken Nuggets” is only plausible because Usain Bolt admitted that his last meal before dominating the 100 meters in Beijing was Chicken Nuggets. It’s still a shocking fact. Unfortunately, McDonalds decided not to spring for a sponsorship for Bolt, and instead went with a bunch of little kids, who are not Olympians. Opportunity missed.
6:11: And, um, Durant is a 38 percent 3 point shooter, Rondo is 25%. This was the best way to end this contest? At least plan it out next year so that we can get an actual finish.
6:13: That the Mavericks got both Butler and Haywood scares me, they’ve legitimately improved their team. I wanted Haywood on the Jazz, but now it’s not going to happen. Butler would have helped as well. IMO, the Jazz need a consolidation trade, to trade a couple of our players who are good at a few things but not at others for a better all-around player. I’m looking at you, CJ/Brewer/Korver.
6:16: An ad for the new Final Fantasy game. It’s absolutely incredible that they can create video game characters who are very, very attractive, without looking fake. This wasn’t true when I saved the princess in Super Mario 64.
6:18: Ernie Johnson has a child with Muscular Dystrophy? I had no idea. That’s pretty cool of him to donate a car (sponsored by autotrader.com) to the MDA.
6:21: Showing us the All-Star Saturday lineup. Haier Shooting Stars, the Skills Competition, the 3-point Shootout, and the Sprite Dunk Contest. Westbrook is a replacement for Derrick Rose, but very honestly Rose isn’t as good of a passer as Westbrook is, who is probably a better fit.
6:23: Gallinari won a 2007 Italian League 3 point contest. Does this necessarily qualify him for the NBA 3 point contest? Well no, but he’s not an awful 3 point shooter. I wish he had a little more on his game, but not until next year.
6:25: If Nate Robinson wins the dunk contest, I’m going to be pretty unhappy. Robinson’s a mess, and his dunks would be utterly uninteresting if he weren’t short. Howard got robbed last year.
6:27: Daequan Cook is an awful, awful basketball player. He’s in the 3 point contest because he’s won it, but he’s shooting 31% from 3 this year! Kirilenko is also at 31%! Ronnie Price, Deron, Memo, Korver, and CJ are all shooting better. In short, we can make a 3 point contest from the Utah Jazz lineup, and all of them would be more likely to make more threes than Daequan Cook.
6:30: Do you suppose there is a large overlap between fans of rodeo and fans of the NBA? I would guess not. But the All-Star Game’s in Dallas, and so we will necessarily create a intro based on this theme.
6:32: Shooting stars get introduced. There was a point in time when I was the largest male WNBA fan there could be, and then Larry Miller sold and moved the Utah Starzz. That, and I got older than 8 years old.
6:33: I still can’t believe that Brent Barry won a Dunk Contest. The last 8 years of his career I don’t think he jumped other than in a jump shot or missed layup attempt. It’s fairly amazing he was able to change his game that much.
6:35: The Hammon, Kenny Smith, Nowitzki team has to be the favorite. Kenny Smith is the weakest player on that team, and he was pretty good. Nowitzki will probably nail a half court shot, without jumping.
6:36: And… Atlanta’s not impressive. McCoughtry took 5 attempts on the bank shot. Smith 0/7 in his 3 point attempts. They’re talking about being “happy to be there”, not a good sign for Shooting Stars dominance. Do teams practice for this?
6:38: Joe Johnson does not look happy.
6:39 LA team is up. And they’re having Gasol taking a 3, which is a super duper smart decision. Or something. Gasol is actually sauntering on his shot attempts from half-court. Nevertheless, Barry makes the halfcourter, and they finish in 1 minute flat.
6:41: Gasol has made 18 three pointers in his 9 year NBA career. So it makes sense to have him shoot that shot, right?
6:42: Even the Kobe puppet is an arrogant jerk.
6:44: Sacramento’s up. Again, why have Webber taking the 3 point shot? Tyreke Evans is on your team!
6:45: You know, if you spent less time watching the shots not go in, and just fired them up, you would have a better chance of winning. Amazingly, Sacramento finishes 1 second before they would have been eliminated at 1:47. Luckily, there’s no way Texas doesn’t beat both scores.
6:47: Wow, Dirk missed 3 3 pointers. They now have 1 minute to make a half courter.
6:48: Yes, they can. Kenny Smith makes the shot after 45 seconds of trying. This means that it will be a LA/Texas final. Is it really fair that Texas gets their own team, given that they have 3 NBA franchises, and LA has two? No. In retrospect, Sacramento had no chance.
6:50: The Nets mascot in the Taco Bell commercial who blocks the guy next to Charles Barkley would be the best defensive player on the real-life Nets.
6:52: Texas making their shots! Texas wins in 34 seconds, only missed 4 half court shots, 6 shots total. Well done. LA has no shot, and this pleases me.
6:53: They actually did pretty well, finishing in 55 seconds, but they had no chance. Pau Gasol should not be one of your 3 point shooters.
6:55: As a side note, Cheryl Miller is an awful, awful commentator. Reggie Miller isn’t much better. Remember his call of Sundiata’s game winner, that “He was on his second 10-day contract!”? He was not, he was on his first. And yes, I only still remember this because I have that YouTube video permanently open in a separate tab in my browser. You should too.
6:59: Again, is a sweet chili sauce a trademark of the Olympics, such that we should be running to it so that we can be like our heroes? No, McDonalds, it is not.
7:00: Unfortunately, the NBA, the behind the back pass, nor the crossover, is not part of the NBA skills challenge. Also, no cowboys watch it.
7:01: Steve Nash just flexed and made a goofy place, yet another move in his quest to become “The Most Ridiculous Man in The World”. Deron, sadly, just kinda smiled when his name was called. Too bad.
7:02: I should point out that I think Deron will win this, because he’s one of the most competitive people I’ve ever met. He was working the officials at his own charity Dodgeball tournament, for example. There’s no way he doesn’t go all out, where I’m not sure Jennings, Westbrook, or Nash will.
7:04: A Real Salt Lake commercial! Very honestly, RSL and soccer in general is awesome. You should become a season ticket holder for RSL, or at the very least come to a few games next season. They’re very exciting. For those of you who still aren’t convinced, they have in-seat food delivery. Do it.
7:06: Deron, of course, is the record holder in this event. Let’s see if he can match it this time.
7:07 Westbrook doing alright, but he missed a couple of passes and shots. Commentators say that he’s a “great passer”, Westbrook misses the next pass, then add on “at times.”
7:08: I really like Jennings’ haircut, at least he’s trying new (old) things. I’m not sure I’ve seen a guy miss the passing hoop high that many times, though, most of the time it’s missed low.
7:09: Steve Nash is running slowly. He’s not trying, and so he’s not going to win. In fairness, he was in Vancouver last night, which is really cool. And he’s ridiculous.
7:11: Deron’s up. Can he beat 35 seconds? It’s a pretty high bar, if we’re to be honest. He wins, at 34.1 seconds. Still, he jogged a little bit more than I thought he would, and missed a shot and a pass. I’m somewhat disappointed, even though he won the first round.
7:13: Apparently, the Nissan Cube is the safest car in America. I think that’s slightly cheating, as it’s the only one that’s a regular mathematical solid. We aren’t making icosahedral cars.
7:16: Uh oh, Steve Nash is trying in the finals. Deron’s in trouble, he’s got to beat 29.9. He’s done it before, but he’s going to have to make every pass and every shot. And he can’t jog, he has to run for 30 seconds. Let’s see if he does it.
7:18: Deron is sprinting! Makes the shot, but he misses the last pass, and in and out too. Steve Nash wins the contest, and all of Canada would be proud if they were were watching.
7:20: I am shocked that the president of Taco Bell, presenting the trophy to Nash, is a fat white guy. You mean it’s not actually healthy? I thought I was eating great, even late.
7:24: I don’t think that the earthquake in Haiti has effected millions of people, “mostly children.” I find it somewhat hard to believe that they are over 50% children. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t help both children and adults in Haiti.
7:25 Wow, George Bush looks very, very old, and his smile is entirely toothless. That being said, I think it’s really neat that both him and Clinton teamed up to make a video to promote Haiti relief. These kind of bipartisan efforts is what it takes to make actual change happen.
7:27: To be the bass player in a band like this one would be pretty cool. You get to wear awesome sunglasses, and generally just stand there looking like you’re the bomb. It would be neat.
7:31: In this commercial, I learned that D. Wade is very interested in looking good, and somehow his phone helps him with his self-obsession so that he can take pictures of his outfits. Got it.
3 Point Contest
7:34: Again, is throwing a hatchet at a bulls eye on plywood at all like the 3 point contest? I fail to see the connection.
7:35: “And the defending champion, with a 31.7% 3 point shooting percentage, a chucker who hurts his team, from the Miami Heat… Daequan Cook!”
7:37: Daequan’s only 36% in his career! This is the best that we can come up with? I understand that he won last year, but that shouldn’t be a ticket to next year’s contest. See: Nate Robinson.
7:39: Interview with Daequan and Cheryl Miller. Daequan is somehow quiet, and an awful interview. Shouldn’t 3 point chuckers like Daequan be loud and boisterous, like J.R. Smith?
7:40: Paul Pierce can’t be one of the 6 best 3 point shooter in the league, can he? He makes 17, which is good, I’m pretty surprised. Pierce is probably the 5th best Celtic ever, maybe the 6th. So the top 5 question is actually interesting.
7:42: Chauncey Billups finishes with 17 as well. We’ll see if that score is good enough to make the finals.
7:44: Stephen Curry makes the first 4, but misses the moneyball. Same with the second rack. This is an inefficient use of resources. That being said, Curry finishes with 18. He’s a 42% shooter, and it’s not a fluke, he was a fantastic shooter in college as well.
7:47: The Wade commercial where he comes out of a smoke cloud, and then splits into 3 copies of him before merging again for the dunk will actually give me nightmares. Thanks Dwyane.
7:50: Gallinari up now. Charles keeps saying “gotta make the moneyball”, even after he’s been mathematically eliminated midway through the 4th rack. He finishes with 15.
7:51: Channing Frye starts out hot, but finishes weak. He finishes with 15. Charles is right, he put’s this weird side-spin on his shot that makes it more likely to miss, IMO.
7:54 Hey! Daequan’s up! And… he finishes with 15, and is eliminated. He did make 4 in a row at one point, but he missed 4 in a row at the beginning as well. Welcome back to the Miami bench, Daequan.
7:55: The first 3 shooters finish first, with 18, 17, 17 . My money’s on Curry to win the contest. He’s the best pure shooter of the three, where Billups and Pierce are partly there because they have all-star skills in other areas.
7:59: Paul Pierce is actually shooting really well this year (44% from 3), I didn’t know that. Most importantly, he’s made every single one of his moneyballs. See, that’s efficiency. Pierce finishes with 20.
8:01: Billups up, makes 3 shots in the first 2 racks. He’s done. 5 through 3 racks, though he does get 9 in the last two to finish with 14. Kenny Smith is right, Chauncey is a streaky shooter.
8:02: Curry’s turn. He airballed one of the first rack! And then makes the next 4! Unfortunately, he misses a few on the 3rd rack, and he finishes with 17. Paul Pierce is the champion! As Smith points out: “Pierce is the best player in this group, but I didn’t think he was the best shooter in the group.” I felt the same way.
8:05: So that means I’m 1 for 3 on predictions tonight. Congrats to Pierce, that was legitimately impressive. He said he wanted to make his case as one of the best shooters of all time, I think this helps his case. He’s also the first Celtic since Larry Bird to win the contest.
8:07: See, this tip off commercial by Spaulding is really cool, plus has a couple of Memo appearances. As a side note, I’m often surprised with how many tipoffs MEmo wins. He’s not athletic, and he’s 6′11, shorter than most centers. I think the Jazz win something like 40 percent of opening tipoffs, where if I just would have guessed, I would have guessed more like 20% with Memo’s relative disadvantages. Not that it matters.
8:10: Let’s be honest, the Dunk Contest is easily the best competition here, for excitement and creativity. I think Shannon Brown is the favorite, and I’d be surprisingly okay with that, even though he’s a Laker. I’m rooting for Gerald Wallace, though. If Nate Robinson wins to become the first 3-time winner ever, it will have been a disappointment. DeRozan just showed no emotion, whatsoever, in his dunks last night, and that will really hurt him tonight if he keeps that up. You have to act for the judges.
8:11: Is Zydrunas Ilgauskas the worst player to have ever had a puppet made out of them and featured in a commercial? I think so.
8:13: Remember, Spud Webb is one of our judges tonight. Will he favor Robinson and Brown? I hope not.
8:14: Another RSL commercial. I can actually see myself, about midway through the commercial, in which they have all the fans jumping and chanting in the streets of Seattle. Good times.
8:16: I had forgotten the rules that a teammate had to help on one dunk. I hope we get some creativity.
8:17: The first 3 judges announced are notable for their non-greatness in their NBA careers, and are only here because they played for the Mavericks at some point. That’s disappointing.
8:18: DeRozan dunked when he was in 6th grade? That’s crazy! I still can’t dunk, and it has been my dream to do so. His first dunk is okay, a through the legs reverse that’s awfully reminiscent of his dunk from ahead of the hoop last night. The judges give him a 42, and to me that’s too high. You need to give some room for some better dunks.
8:20: Shannon Brown is parting the kids, sitting on the crowd, for this dunk. Let’s see what he’s doing. He misses his first statue of liberty attempt, then tries a switch between right and left hands for the dunk. Worse than DeRozan for a 37 score.
8:22: Gerald Wallace has played so, so well this season. A legit all-star. That being said, that first dunk attempt was really, really, really pathetic. A reverse? Really? And he gets a 38.
8:23: “Gatorade doesn’t work on players who suck.” – Charles Barkley.
8:24: Nate Robinson’s dunk was good, a difficult lob to a two-handed windmill. And he’s 5′9”. I think he might win. Crap. He gets a 44. There’s still time for everyone else.
8:27: Again, the Kobe puppet commercial. I can’t believe there are people who exist who like Kobe. It’s inconceivable to me.
8:28: Hey, speaking of Kobe, he’s assisting Shannon Brown! And it’s a lob to an alley-oop. A standard alleyoop. I’ve seen a lot more impressive things in Shannon Brown games. This is incredibly disappointing. He get’s a 41, which is high. Kenny making fun of the website that got him in the dunk contest.
8:30: Flip Murray assisting Wallace. And it’s a bounce to a one handed slam. This is sad. I hope and pray that somebody involved is good at dunking, besides Robinson.
8:32 DeRozan up, assisted by the great talent that is Sonny Weems. And an actual dunk! He gets a 50, which is a little high, but he flew through the air off an alley-oop from the side of the backboard, and then finished on the other side. Great dunk, and done with style.
8:33: Nate Robinson is up. So long as he doesn’t mess up, he’s got the finals. He gets a pretty good dunk, gets a 45, and does a 360 from the jump. Nicely done, it’s something. I’m okay with a DeRozan, Robinson final.
8:35: Let’s not forget, Laker fans, how awful Shannon Brown was in this contest. Awful. You said he was one of the best dunkers in the NBA, and you were wrong. He can, however, successfully complete an alley-oop. Just like the Collins twins.
8:39: Oh, and I forgot that fan voting mattered in this. Toronto has so many fans , basically, all of Canada. Robinson is from NY, not small certainly, but not Canada big. I hope Canada is watching.
8:41: Deron has changed to a suit. In the mean time, Robinson does a worse dunk than his first round dunk, but from the other side. Not impressive.
8:42: DeRozan attempts an alleyoop over his teammate, 1 handed as well. A nice dunk, and slightly better than Robinson’s. That being said, it wasn’t better than Nate’s dunk from last year over Dwight Howard.
8:43 Nate Robinson up. Does an alley-oop off the glass to a mean reverse jam! That was a great dunk, but not a perfect 50 for me. Very nice. Apparently, he has dunked 3 times for the Knicks so far this season. That’s not very good.
8:45: DeRozan backing up the kids again. I hope he doesn’t disappoint. He does. He did a free-throw line dunk from 5 feet inside the free-throw line. Ugh.
8:47: Worst Dunk Contest in recent memory. Remember when Lebron said that he would participate in this year’s contest? That was a lie. I hope he feels good about what he’s done.
8:48: Seriously, I’m depressed. That was not interesting. A lineup of Lebron, Howard, Robinson, and DeRozan could have been fascinating. The 3 dunk contests before this one were pretty good. This was not.
8:49: This Dunk Contest was missing Dwight Howard. The Sticker Dunk, Superman, the phone booth from last year? No one this year had any creativity whatsoever, and it hurt the contest.
8:50: Spud Webb told Robinson not to use any props? Boo. Props are awesome.
8:51: Nate Robinson wins the dunk contest. He shouldn’t have won two of his three contests. As Kenny points out, the winner of the D-League contest this year would have won. Charles Barkley: “Maybe no one should win”.
8:53: Well congratulations, NBA superstars, for wimping out of this contest. This is reminiscent of the US Olympic loss in Athens, and all of the superstars who didn’t want to play. No one wins. Anyway, this reminds me that the Winter Olympics is on, and so I change the channel.
Anyway, I hoped you liked the live blog. It started with a cut-short Horse contest, and ended with an utter disappointment in the dunk contest. Luckily, Shooting Stars, the Skills Challenge, and 3 point contest weren’t awful. Hopefully, somehow the retelling of the night will be more interesting than the contests themselves.
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