February 15, 2010

108,713. And the rest of the All Star Weekend

108,713. A hundred and eight thousand, seven hundred, thirteen. That's how many people showed up at the Dallas Cowboys stadium in Arlington, Texas, making it the most attended basketball game of all time. The record was certified by Guiness Book of World Records.

The All Star Game itself didn't dissapointment, with the Eastern Conference taking a close 141-139 victory over the West. Dwyane Wade finished with 28 points, 11 assists, and 5 steals to become the game's MVP. It was an exciting game from start to finish, and it needed to be too, considering the snore-worthy events of the night before.

Let's go back to the first night's events. Some celebrities beat some other celebrities to win the Celebrity Game on Friday night. What was of interest was the Rookie Challenge, which, surprisingly, the rookies won behind great performances by Tyreke Evans (the game's MVP), Dejuan Blair, and Brandon Jennings. The D-League did something somewhere also that night.

Now, All Star Saturday was to be the beginning of the real events. The programme was shown live in India on Sunday morning, but I couldn't catch it until the repeat late on Sunday night. Star Sports decided to skip H.O.R.S.E. for the repeat, which was won by Kevin Durant.

Here are my running notes for the rest of the broacast.

- it begins with the thoroughly uninteresting Shooting Stars competition.
- i don't understand the rules, and i dont want to understand them
- c-webb is alive
- hometown star dirk nowitzki gets the loudest cheer during introductions.
- the commentators are taking this show a bit too seriously. they're actually mad at the competitors for not being as serious about it. Can't say I blame them.
- kenny smith is hilarious
- team 'texas' win. yawn.

Skills Challenge.

- should be fun: Russell Westbook, Brandon Jennings, Steve Nash, Deron Williams..
- i like to have a favourite for each competition... before i could understand and side with the sacramento team in the shooting stars tournament, they were already knocked out... skills challenge? go deron (last year's winner).
- Derrick Rose, who was supposed to be here, suffered an injury. He's been replaced by westbrook.
- nash should be a comedian
- brandon jenning's hair is AWESOME
- jenning's on fire... for most of the time
- even the skills challenge makes kg's emotional
- the vets in the final: deron vs. stee

- steve's got everyone off their feet. STEE!
- oh its over! STEE wins - and he's the oldest guy of the 4... respect

Former US Presidents "Dubya" Bush and Bill Clinton come and talk about haiti support. bush looks like an idiot. haha i can't stop laughing. its great that nba is supporting haiti. but bush is still an idiot.


- this is a good lineup... paul pierce, chauncey, curry, gallo
- i'm talking to my friend about shaq... just realized, that they should put HIM in a 3-point challenge.
- actually... they should put shaq in the skills challenge. i might die laughing. seriously.
- the all star game without game without shaq will suck
- barkley looks stoned. He's talking shit.. well, barkley always talks shit... but more than usual this time.
- chauncey's jump shot is beautiful. sexy, actually.
- stephen curry's got an impressive jumper, too.
- gallo, my great Knick hope, has dissapointed
- curry loses... The truth wins. paul paranoid pimpin 3-pointing pierce ... Arnold The Governator is in the crowd, and he is happy too. So is KG, obviously.

- its fitting that pierce is the first celtic since larry to win this. It's also hilarious that he called himself "One of the best shooters in the world." He is The Truth, after all.

finally... slam dunk! slam dunk! slam dunk!

- two good things about not watching this event live
1. i don't have to wake up at an ungodly hour
2. we get to skip all the misses. no thanks, nate 2006
- i think DeMar DeRozan (who beat eric gordon in the dunk-in) will take it.
- apparently, derozan had his first dunk at 11... sixth grade... awesome...
- take that back--- the misses are not skipped
- all dunks look good in slo-mo
- derozan/shannon are mildly impressive, gerald "crash" wallace underwhelms - i want vince.
- NATE!!! - not bad..!
- im very much against fan voting in this... let's keep the fan bias out of the actual event.
- we have a kobe appearance
- i expected better, shannon
- ok, so i like gerald's 2nd dunk
- barkley is still talking shit

- oh my GOODNESS!!! derozan finally gets EVERYONE off their feet... amazing dunk... that's a 50 isn't it?
- nate: nice
- nate vs derozan for the finals...
- and after missing the 1st dunk a couple of times.... that's it? that's the final dunk?
- nate is bored of this. derozan should win.
- derozan's dunk: not bad, but its been done before.
- now that's a dunk... nate's second ones's good... plus he grabs a pompom from a dallas cheerleader... awesome.
- Ugghhh! this is the worst dunk contest ever. i don't care who wins anymore.
- wow, great time for commercial break. leave me hanging over a decision i dont even care that much about. damn you star sports.
- Nate Robinson wins... 3 times champ. knicks, go! very uncreative... barkley actually added "maybe nobody should win". and i agree.

So that's it. I wasn't impressed by the events tonight, except perhaps that one derozan dunk and by paul pierce. And steve nash's facial expressions. Hopefully tommorow morning's game brings more to the table.

So, I woke up Sunday morning, 7 AM, definately expecting better. The Slam-Dunk contest was embarrasingly bad. The NBA needs to learn from this, and the superstar players need to have less of an ego about participating in this event. I'm calling out Vince Carter, Wade, LeBron, etc. here.

Now, on to my notes for the All Star Game:

- ive always left the player intros... friggin hilarious. Shaq's dance with the Jabbawokeez last year was probably the best intro ever.
- steve nash is still funny.
- duncan is showing emotion, and it seems like he's trying hard doing it. I know he'd rather be on sleep mode
- usher is there from 2004.
- dirk is starting instead of kobe... but joe johnson instead of AI?... where's rondo?
- the crowd of 90,000+ is the largest to ever watch a basketball game... twice more than any other all star game!
- east will win... i know it

1st quarter
- dirk starts with a crowdpleasing jumpshot
- dirk again! - they're really hoping for a dirk hometown mvp arent they?
- wade does a self-alley oop... nice!
- Dwight just hit a three!!! hilarious
- duncan is still taking bank shots
- wade to lebron is a great combo. i'm knick dreamin
- my main man boshasaurus check in

- melo's on fire

2nd quarter
- david lee is in, and he scores...
- rose and horford in for the east too, nice to see new players getting the attention on the big stage. There are 9 first time all stars this year.
- beautiful move by rose
- deron to durant, another alley oop - they did this several times tonight
- wade!!! oh this game is getting great
- durant is showing the world how damn good he is.
- its amazing to think that gerald wallace gets nearly 11 rebounds a game
- "One of the best shooters in the world" is still shooting.

- east make a comeback and take a big lead, thanks to lebron who is doing whatever he feels like, and al horford.
- lebron blocks melo, it's a goldtend, and lebron jumps on melo in celebration
- great passing, lebron to bosh to rose
- bosh is now playing point guard.
- jason kidd is sucking
- dirk is DYING to be mvp, taking every shot in sight
- melo again - 17 points in the half + 8 rebounds... wade has 10 pts and 7 asssists
halftime score: a defensively mindblogging east 76-69 west

- halftime performers are alicia keys and shakira. i'm getting myself a cup of chai to watch this
- rule of life: you cant go wrong with a half-naked shakira in a cage. in barkley's words: "can you say sensory overload?"
- alicia keys is milking that uber awesome empire state of mind chorus as far as she can... we need jay-z... She's changed the lyrics to "welcome to all star..."
- kobe got a bigger cheer/ most fanfare in the team usa player introductions... more than lebron. I'm just saying.

third quarter
- dwight coast to coast
- and just as i celebrate that... the power goes... i think I heard alicia keys singing "welcome to ind-iaaaa". Lame.
- ok, so 8 mins later, power is back. phew! east is up 97-88
- amazing lebron to wade alley oop... seriously, they work well together.
- bron is doing some awesome playmaking now
- wade has 18 and 10
- kobe calls the all star game the "greatest pick up game in the world". he's right.
- deron steal, nice move... he has 14, kicking ass
- nash is on the jumbotron singing the canadian national anthem. legend.
- another three for paul "best shooter in the world" pierce
- the durantula hits a buzzer beating three to end the third.
- attendance is 108,713... AMAZING!

4th quarter
- west are cutting the lead down. It's suddenly a 2 point game
- this looks like its gonna be a good finish. 120-119 east with 9 mins to go
- great sequence of crazy passes between wade, lebron, and rondo, finally getting wade to the free throw line
- ah, nothing better than some good ol defence
- rondo to wade alley oop again. Flash has had around 80 of these tonight.

- alley oops remind me of NBA 2K5. actually more of NBA Street.
- deron is playing major minutes here.
- lebron playing pg now
- bosh has 21 and 10
- class of 2003 REPRESENT
- but where's melo?
- big shot AGAIN by chauncey.
- bosh misses an easy alley oop from LeBron.
- chauncey again! that shot was so well defended by wade too. game tied at 137, 1 minute left.
- wade steals it with 20 seconds left!!!! game tied at 137
- deron sends wade to the line unnecessarily
- wade hits both 139-137. 12 seconds left
- i agree with reggie commentating right now. give ball to chauncey
- who takes final shot for west?
- dwight fouls nowitzi! 7.7 seconds. two free throws. game tied at 139
- east now has final shot... i say wade
- bosh is tripped, 5 seconds, he gets 2 shots. another dallas native, btw
- bosh hits both 141-139
- my (west-biased) friend thinks that this game would've been over ages ago if kobe was playing.
- melo misses the three...bad shot... east win 141-139... well defended by wade
- bosh's free throws win it
- funny that dallas had to see another d-wade takeover. Memories of the 2006 finals are still haunting the crowd.

Wade is mvp with 28, 11, and 5, shooting 12-16.

So, an exciting end to a fun game. The game was broadcast in 215 countries in 41 languages. 215 countries!!!! They're not many places where it wasn't shown. Maybe Antartica. And Bangladesh.

Another fun fact: This was the first all star game to be played without Shaq AND Kobe since 1997 (Kobe's rookie year). In the end, the West had many options of the final shot-taker, was it going to be Melo, Chauncey, or Dirk? If Kobe was playing, I don't think there would have been any question about it. Actually, a Kobe-less result will always have an asterix with it, won't it?

Great performance by the 2003 Draft Class. Apart from Wade's MVP heroics, LeBron added 25, 6, and 5, Bosh had 23 and 10, and for the West, Melo scored 27 points with 10 rebounds.

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