Hey now, that’s an All-Star!
If you can’t wait for tomorrows big game, why not ‘Take 5’ and reminisce the five greatest All-Star games of the last decade? From self-assisted dunks to political statements, it’s been a great and important 10 years for the NBA’s favourite, weekend holiday. Now that’s entertainment. Let’s take a look back at the times when amazing really did happen.
DALLAS – 2010
5. NBA history was made last year to the tune of 108, 713 record breaking, screaming fans. It took a couple of Dallas Cowboys to usher these hoop dreamers into an NFL stadium. Dwyane Wade took his deserved MVP award with LeBron James standing right behind him (who would have thought back then?) and with a 141-139 thriller over four quarters it felt like M.J was back in the building. It was Team Jordan that showed the flashes of brilliance however as Wade’s performance looked as good as the half-time show featuring the beautiful Alicia Keys and Shakira. A big, big night all round. The NBA broke new ground with this sell-out as timeless basketball truly touched down. Forget the Superbowl, this was the sporting highlight of the first quarter of 2010.
PHILADELPHIA – 2002
4. Out in Philly where Kobe Bryant was born and raised, the MVP made this court his playground with most of his plays. Despite the boos, Kobe’s 31 point, 5 assist and 5 rebound performance could not be denied. As he took top honours the West cracked the East 135-120 at Philadelphia’s First Union Centre. Home-team hero Allen Iverson may not have turned home-court advantage to a game, set and match, but by donning number 6 in honour of Sixers legend, Julius Erving he served up another special moment in a game of many. This was the last game where the players wore their respective team jerseys, but more importantly Michael Jordan’s first All-Star game since coming out of retirement with his Washington Wizards. Mike played great, but on a break-away run to the basket, floor-Jordan clanged a dunk off the rim for a hilarious and unfortunate moment. Still, when Tracy McGrady passed the ball off the backboard to himself from just beyond half-court and slammed it home he gave the game it’s greatest moment and re-set the trend for dunks and All-Star spectacles to come.
PHOENIX – 2009
3. Nothing beats big-game side-stories and everyone likes a tale of redemption, even if you have to go through a desert to find it. Thanks to the Phoenix Suns, the ‘Big Cactus’, Shaquille O’Neal played on the same team as Kobe Bryant for the first time since their death of a dynasty out in Los Angeles. The last time these two played together in an All-Star game, the two Lakers combined for a Jerry West esque, 44 points, cementing the dynamics of their duo at their home-hosting Staples. Still, a lot had happened since then, but in Phoenix all those past problems dried up as the thought of foes showed they where really friends. Under the coaching of Phil Jackson it all felt like 2001 again as the West took a 19-0 run with Shaq and Kobe on the floor together. The pair combined for the West’s 146-119 drubbing and co-MVP honours, in a story that sounded as good as John Legend’s half-time show.
NEW ORLEANS – 2008
2. It was a close 134-128 win for the East and LeBron James took the MVP honours with 27 points and was 1 assist and 2 rebounds away from a triple-double. New Boston Celtic player, Kevin Garnett was the top-vote getter while Dwight Howard put on a classic show, re-invigorating and revolutionising the dunk-contest. Yao Ming didn’t play and Kobe Bryant almost joined him on the bench. Still none of this mattered compared to the biggest story of the weekend, where the game was played. New Orleans held the 57th All-Star game in the New Orleans Arena in Louisiana. In a statement of solidarity that then President George Bush couldn’t muster, the NBA showed they really cared, proving it wasn’t just about basketball, or golf for that matter. Now watch their food drives. In return New Orleans as a city, just three years after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina proved they where perfect hosts. This wasn’t just one of the best All-Star games it was also one of the NBA’s finest and most proud moments.
ATLANTA – 2003
1. Michael Jordan hit a fade-away jumper over Shawn Marion with 5 seconds to go in overtime putting the East up by a bucket, showing that even with the future of The Matrix, Jordan’s basketball creation was present and correct. In his last ever All-Star game, this signature move looked to score a storybook ending to the most legendary of careers. That was until the heir to the airs throne, Kobe Bryant re-wrote history. As Jermaine O’Neal sent Kobe to the line, Bryant’s killer instinct must have felt a little bit merciful for his hero’s last All-Star moment. Still, Kobe’s no coward and he sent the game into a second overtime, where MVP Kevin Garnett did the rest. Still everything about their thrilling, hard-fought, long 155-145 Western win was classic. From Vince Carter standing aside to let Mike start, to the resurrection of the classic, East and West All-Star jerseys. Even the way the court and the lighting looked gave the evening a vintage feel and as for the basketball itself, timeless.
Now enjoy tomorrow!
Is Howard’s End In Hollywood?
Kobe Bryant mouths this whilst shaking his head in dissing dismay from the baseline whilst staring down Dwight Howard on the other half of the court. Now a Houston Rocket the less than perfect pair have a problem…and it’s all getting flagrant.
Once upon a time in Hollywood with Mike D’Antoni running the show with an ageing Steve Nash, Hollywood’s Laker reality show was playing fantasy, legendary name Basketball again like the time they brought in late in their career legends like Karl Malone and Gary Payton to help raise banners like the point of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or logo of Jerry West. But when they picked up Magic man Dwight Howard who even took Orlando’s Mickey Mouse kingdom on his broad back all the way to the Finals against the Lakers, they expected D12 and KB24 to be the new generation Shaq and Kobe. After all Dwight Howard was a man of steel too.
And oh how they were Shaq and Kobe 2…but in completely all the wrong way. It turned out to be Batman vs Superman without the dawn of a justice league, or even their mothers having the same name. Kobe’s beef with Dwight made his repaired relationship with Shaq look like Japanese cows without the massage and feeding rituals that make their Mamba city namesakes cuts the best in the business…now served in Shaquille’s restaurant with more onion rings. And when they met the following season after the death of another dynasty to be, this time Dwight was the little red corvette and Kobe the brick wall unable to be felled or floored like the one in Berlin. Baptizing him like that time in Orlando with his most dynamic dunk.
Since going from the Orlando Magic to Magic smiles in Hollywood Howard has switched more teams than your 2K partner when you’ve already picked to play as the Lakers. He’s also received his fair share of off court and locker room problems including some chemistry cancer concerns. And even in this off-season, either looking to make some headlines or free agent publicity stunts he’s come out and said he’d be open to returning to the Lakers (…erm) and that Kobe was right (he already knows).
Now most in Lakerland laughed at the social media scoffed idea. Especially with a front-court force more formidable than anything the association has to offer, lead by new big man legend Anthony Davis. Following in the sneaker steps of Mikan, Wilt, Kareem, Shaq and Pau to truly be the new Shaq and Kobe with King LeBron James. But when his old New Orleans Pelicans reunited Wildcat brother DeMarcus Cousins went down with another season threatening injury last week the Lakers were forced to look elsewhere already, like filling out their final roster spot with Andre Igudola was a ring of last week’s past, or Carmelo was one long rumored Anthony never meant to be. Bursting the banana boat like a CP3 nix.
And although the Lakers have been linked with the arc of Joakim Noah or the Zaza land of Pachulia and with plenty of other big assets still on the market like Marcin Gortat or Amir Johnson, will we see Dwight Howard eating tacos and yelling with LeBron on Twitter this Tuesday as we all unfollow like too many tweets (my bad)? Bringing Howard back to Hollywood seems sillier than bringing the LaVar Ball show back to this Kardashian town. Because besides they already have the all dunking and blocking JaVale McGee who is worthy of a start with James (42) clapping like throwing up chalk. All as this hair blown out center throws it down again and again, coast to coast in California. But apparently there’s a mutual interest…what is this Tinder? Will this just be the makings of another Michael Beasley or make ’em dance Lance Stephenson meme team? Still the Lakers need more in reserve and Dwight needs this for his revenge to the past years that have taken his career from the red caped sun to being newspaper fodder to each cities equivalent of the Daily Planet. Time to rewrite all those who wrote you off Jimmy Olsen.
Read all about it, at the end of press next week Dwight Howard could be a Los Angeles Laker yet again.
News just in…I can’t believe I’m writing this.
Who would of thought it?
Certainly not Kobe.
But it’s the King’s town now.
And after all in this LeBron ‘Space Jam’ scripted season for the Los Angeles Lakers you know Hollywood loves a redemption story too.
Boogie’s Productions Down Again
Cousins injured again…we can’t relate to that.
When former Sacramento star and New Orleans Pelican DeMarcus Cousins joined the Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green Golden State Warriors to begin last season critics dubbed this superteam unfair.
What was unfair however was the ACL injury that kept Boogie sidelined for most of the season and then the quad injury on top of that in the playoffs that made sure the Warriors wouldn’t be dancing in their final chapter in Golden State.
But as D.C. made a Cali move too like the Dubs across the Golden Gate to San Francisco, heading to LeBron’s Lakerland with former frontcourt friend Anthony Davis, what was really unfair is what’s just come out of a practice run this week.
Cousins has tore his ACL again in a horrible twist of fate.
This games God’s people.
When DeMarcus reunited with the same former New Orleans big man that rocked his jersey in beautiful All Star tribute a couple of seasons back when they briefly flew together as Pelicans this Summer, the Lakers furthered their favourite status like tapping that heart on Twitter. Even if the Clippers ended up being the ones that got Kawhi Leonard…and Paul George too for the new battle of Los Angeles, raging against the Lakers Hollywood machine, the Lake Show have the ‘Space Jam 2’ of the King and the ‘brow. Not to mention the difference maker like rising star Kyle Kuzma in the veteran one of Cousins.
Either one of them will blow, or both, as the other will show he’s still got it. Giving the West’s best the biggest force of an interchangeable frontcourt. As the Lakers could either go with the more muscle version of a Tim Duncan and David Robinson twin towers in the Pelican reunited Kentucky Wildcats of Davis and Cousins and ‘Bron. Or the most dynamic duo since Shaq and Kobe of James and A.D. and the one young core star who didn’t get switched for this franchise player in Kuz, who could form a big three if the injured Cousins isn’t already still a part of one. Despite the writing off medical report.
And we haven’t even got to his Kentucky alumni Rajon Rondo led backcourt, or last year’s all dunking and blocking big headband and hair spark JaVale McGee. A gym rat who re-upped after almost going for both the Defensive Player Of The Year and Most Improved Player award in the first month of last seasons 82 campaign.
The Lakers are going to need him and that first wind of last year now more than ever.
Or the California club have some decisions to make for who to put in purple and gold for their almost meant to be final roster spot (DON’T AMNESTY!). Do they still wait for another former Warrior in Sixth Man, defensive legend Andre Igudola? Or do they leave him and the long rumoured other Anthony in Carmelo and pick up another big? Guys like Nené, Amir Johnson, Joakim Noah, Kenneth Faried, Zaza Pachulia and Marcin Gortat are still on the market like fresh fruit stalls. And even Dwight Howard of all people have expressed (more like blatantly begged for publicity) for a return to Lakerland after his Hollywood divorce.
Because we have no idea when Boogie will be back. Or if he will even be the same player when he returns. Or if he even was before this injury happened. But despite history rewriting so many careers crippled by injury we still believe. We still believe he has superstar status and could be the X-factor difference maker when he returns late in the game to this Hollywood scripted rivalry like he almost was last season in the Finals against Toronto as he flips it. You saw him almost become a Splash Brother with that three, so just you wait until you see him downtown in STAPLES this season when it’s all said and buzzer beater done.
The bridge is far from over.
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