Like we always do at this time, let’s run back and run off a list of 10 things we took away from 2012 NBA All-Star Game (one that’s already being billed as the best since 2006). Ready? Good because the second half of the season will be here before you know it.
1. Dwight Howard is going to make someone very, very happy as a 1B to someone’s 1A in the future.
2. Drake and Common are cool now.
3. Just know, we were cheated out of approximately anywhere between four to seven extra dunks with the absence of Josh Smith. This really sucks when you think there was the possibility of running fast breaks with Rondo/Rose, LeBron and Smith leaving the door wide open for the first ever double alley oop in All-Star Game history. And it’s all Joe Johnson’s fault. Nevermind the issue he probably would’ve taken just as many threes as well though.
4. Say what you will about Russell Westbrook and how he approaches the game of basketball, but last night proved one thing. There isn’t a small guard alive – or maybe ever (which may be easy to track since, you know, guards really only started dunking a few years ago) – who is a more violent dunker for a player Westbrook’s size. I damn near expected him to tear the rim off the backboard on a few of those dunks.
5. In the same month, Pitbull and Nicki Minaj performed at both the Super Bowl and NBA All-Star Game. If you think either one of them will ever step foot in the Hip-Hop realm ever again, there’s plenty of oceanfront property in Montana that’s going for cheap right now.
6. There’s no chance in hell Kobe was unaware how many points he needed to surpass Michael Jordan as the all-time leading points scorer in All-Star Game history. The way he came out gunning in the first quarter was a clear indication to the world was going to witness “Sniper Kobe” whether we wanted to or not. Back in 1998, who would’ve thought this mini-fro having kid just happy to be on the same court with Jordan would one up him a decade and some change later? Too bad that record probably won’t stand for long with guys like Durant and LeBron – who’s only 64 points behind him – still having years worth of All-Star appearances ahead of them.
7. There’s also no chance in hell we don’t walk away with the gold in London this summer, right?
8. Both are fine players for their respective teams, but if I never saw Loul Deng or Roy Hibbert in an All-Star Game again in my life, I wouldn’t exactly shed tears.
9. Sans catching a case or doing anything to piss off the court of public opinion, Kevin Durant’s career is one ring away from being validated in one of those “one-of-the-best-(insert mythical category)” type lists and he’s not even 25 yet. Keep in mind, his lockout summer worked wonders for his personal brand. And there isn’t a basketball nerd, grandmother or casual fan in the world upset he took home MVP honors. If he can somehow find a way to take home regular season MVP and grab a ring in June? Good Lord. Best. Year. Ever.
10. LeBron was the best player on the court un for 47 minutes and 38 seconds. You knew it. I knew it. The entire world know it. From an errant cross court pass resulting in a turnover to being the in-bounder with one second remaining in the game, it’s almost as if the positive things he accomplished during the game were suddenly pushed to the back burner. Of course, Dwyane Wade’s fumbling of a wide open pass from Bron with 1:17 left is huge and if Deron Williams knocks down the three pointer with nine seconds left, we’re not having this conversation. But they didn’t, and here we are. For real, if this June doesn’t produce the result I need it too, I’m seriously considering taking a break from the Internet and enrolling myself in that cult Martin did when he got fired from his job. It’s at this point, whenever a game is close and the final three minutes appear, I get this weird feeling in my stomach that my world is about to collapse in front of me. And it happened again last while Kobe Bryant narrated the entire scene. This cannot continue to be my basketball life. It just f*ckin’ can’t.
Bonus: Make the cash prize $1M – $500K going to a charity of their choice – and force DeMar DeRozen, Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin, John Wall, Jeremy Evans and LeBron James participate in the 2013 Slam Dunk Contest.
Double Bonus: D-Wade’s hard foul on Kobe not only gave the latter a bloody nose but also a nasal fracture. Notice how the league steered far, far away from the “c-word” otherwise known as “concussion.” Let me find out the man formerly known as “Flash” is becoming a one man wrecking crew (never forget Rondo’s elbow bending in ways a human elbow is not supposed to bend in the 2011 Eastern Conference semis). In fact, as Ed phrased it, Wade’s “the Bernard Pollard of the NBA.”