It’s Monday. That’s the time for us to get back to our normal lives. Some of us have classes, some of us have dull meetings at work that we must get to. Monday is usually all about getting back into the groove of your weekly duties. Especially after having a mind-blowing weekend. People usually have an abhorrence for Mondays–this is ten fold for me after All Star weekend.
This is the best weekend in sports to me. All Star festivities are amazing–if you’ve ever been you would know. I went in 2001 when the All Star game was in D.C. That’s when my passion for basketball really started to kindle. My father took me downtown and we had a blast. It was probably the best time of my life in my early childhood. I was only 9 years old at the time and I wanted to be the next Michael Jordan. We all know that’s not happening, but I’m grateful that the sport sparked my passion to be a thinker and a writer.
There is no better picture in sports than all of the best NBA players collaborating on one floor. It keeps the fans integrated into the process–to a fault at times–and makes us love the game even more. In recent years the dunk contest has been a failure, but people will still tune in because of the tradition. These things have so much meaning to basketball fans everywhere. The three point competition, the skills challenge recently, the dunk contest, the rookie/soph game–now the Rising Stars Challenge–epitomize what the fans want to see.
That weekend is more than a break, its a time where we can step back and look at how far the game has come. We can step away from the business part and look at the history of the game. We did that especially this weekend–there were some moments that were big in All Star game history. You had Kobe playing in his 14th all-star game–which isn’t a record but is astounding. Kevin Durant and LeBron James pushed almost broke Wilt Chamberlains scoring record of 42 points. Each man was six points away. Bryant had eclipsed Michael Jordan in scoring points in an all-star game, Chase Budinger recreated Cedric Ceballos’ blindfolded dunk, and this was the 20th anniversary of Magic Johnson’s return from his HIV virus.
This is the only time we’ll be able to see Russell Westbrook thrive as a shooting guard slashing to the rim. Steve Nash gave him a pin point laser pass that was about 60 feet across the floor. LeBron James won the dunk contest last night all the while going 6-7 from three-point range. By the way, Andre Iguodala placed a close second. Westbrook could’ve received honorable mention, but John Wall had been doing too much work on the rim the previous nights before.
This is the only time we’ll be able to see Rajon Rondo running with athletes. Possibly the only time for the rest of the year we’ll be able to see a few Boston Celtics involved in a game that goes over 96 points. Rondo gave LeBron James an awesome feed for an alley-oop from a little bit above the half court line. Chris Bosh received a few excellent feeds from Rondo too.
By the way, Boston and Miami working together is something else.
Blake Griffin murdered the rim with his powerful dunks. I didn’t believe that man could jump that high, but his head was well above the rim. He probably could’ve taken a bite out of it on all of his dunks. I lost count at about 5 but if I had to guess it would be around 8.
Dwight Howard–after playing a wonderful host all weekend–was dunked on about 3 times in a row. We’ll never see that again.
Kevin Durant was given the MVP after a 36 point outing. He deserved the award–I was proud of Durant because of him being from my area. I connect with him the most because I know some of the struggles that he has gone through. I have been through some of them and I know people who have gone through similar things. When saying that winning that MVP was a childhood dream he meant it; I’m glad he’ll be able to bring that home.
These games just make us wonder what it would be like to get all of these guys on the same team. They have no chemistry together, but yet they already know each other’s tendencies. What if Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James all played on the same team? What if Rondo had some elite athletes around him? What if Russell Westbrook played the shooting guard position with a point guard like Steve Nash or Chris Paul as his backcourt teammate?
Basketball is just so fun. There are things that these guys can do that no one else can. I hope you all enjoyed the weekend as much as I did.
Here are some of my favorite moments of the weekend.