by Lang Whitaker

OK, we’re live here for the Saturday night smorgasboard of events. I’m not sure but I think I just saw Michael Cooper wearing a Lakers uniform and pink shoes. Anyway, let’s get it started in here…

• Just got a text from my wife who said, “Why are there lots of old people on the court throwing balls?” I don’t have an answer for her.

• Spurs PR man Tom James asked for a shoutout in the live blog. Here it is.

• I can’t believe Tim Duncan is involved in the Shooting Stars competition. They must’ve uploaded a virus into his mainframe. I also think Bill Laimbeer was smoking a cigarette on the bench.

• I think the Shooting Stars thing is over. I just watched it and I don’t know who won or anything. Ben said Detroit just won. Congrats. Can we just start the Dunk Contest? And what time tonight do we start the Drunk Contest?

• Now we’re into the Skills Challenge. Devin Harris, Mo Williams, Derrick Rose and Tony Parker, who got a healthy boo from the fans here. The participants seem fired up by the pregame music, “Old Time Rock And Roll.”

• Devin Harris up first. Finishes in 36.9 seconds — kinda disappointing. I guess we should just be glad he didn’t get hurt.

• Mo Williams up next, once “99 Luftbaloons” stops playing. Really. Mo does it in 37.5. I think Tony’s gonna take this.

• D-Rose in the house. 2-2 on his first two passes. Finishes in 33.3.

• Tony up now to loud boos. He can’t do anything right. He finishes in just over 50 seconds. Ugh. Too bad, now he has to go sit with Eva Longoria.

• During the TV timeout, here in the arena they showed on the scoreboard a paddle ball contest between Jason Kapono, Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh and Amare/é/’e Stoudemire. Kapono won it.

• FInal round. Harris struggles to make a jumper and finishes in 39.7.

• Derrick Rose wins it and punctuates it with a double-pump reverse. Even he’s ready for the Dunk Contest to start.

• wow derrick rose is so charismatic that was great and fun to watch awesome.

• I don’t know what’s going on here. A little kid is playing “Lovely Day” on a saxaphone. He’s pretty good, actually.

• Time for the Three-Point Shootout. Bibby, Cook, Granger, Kapono, Lewis, Mason. I’m pulling for Bibby but don’t think he has much of a chance. Granger might struggle because he’s used to being unguarded because everyone knows he can’t beat them alone. Tonight he could.

• My computer is tripping. Cook had 18, Rashard Lewis had 17, Bibby 14, and Granger just laid a brick with 13. I knew it.

• Weird, there’s a guy in the arena doing play-by-play announcing while the guy’s are shooting — I don’t ever remember that before, and it’s really distracting.

• Mason ends with 13, which means Mason and Granger are dunzo.

• Kapono goes for 16 and squeaks into the final round with Lewis and Cook.

• I don’t like the money balls. What happened to the red-white-and-blue balls?

• Just walked out to get a Coke and walked by the practice court, and I saw Rudy Fernandez and Pau Gasol practicing a dunk where Pau stood under hte basket and tossed it behind his back to Rudy. Not very exciting. As Stephon said on the podcast the other day, “Who’s that gonna fly with?”

• OK, so while I was out, Lewis went for 15 and Kapono for 14. Now Cook is up. 1 point on first rack. 3 after the second, 7 after three, 10 after four, 15 after five. Tie!

• Lewis leads off the tiebreaker. 0 after first, 0 after two, 4 after three, 6 after four, 7 after five. Ugh.

• Cook. 3 after one, 8 after two, 13 after three, 16 after four, 19 after five. Winner. Congrats, Daequan Cook!

• BTW, if you’re ever standing next to someone you don’t know in a men’s bathroom, a funny thing to say is, This water sure is cold!

• Anyone have an idea who this guy singing is? Is this Sasha Baron-Cohen? This is hilarious.

• OK, Dunk Contest. Judges are KJ, Nance, Chambers, Majerle and Ceballos. Ben’s a little salty about Chambers being in.

• Funny — most of the guys are actually practicing slam dunks but Nate’s out there throwing up three pointers.

• BTW, we just lost the TV monitor on our table because some d-bag sitting in front of us walked past and stepped on the coax cable and knocked it out. Thanks!

• JR Smith gets to go first because he’s obviously the craziest guy in the contest. Powerful. compact windmill. Eh. 43.

• Rudy! Some sort of tribute to the first Spanish player in the NBA — kinda fresh but he gets a 42. They follow it with racist music of castanets.

• Here we go again! Nate double-pumps then gets a crazy 46. Dwight gets a 50? Even the fans here in the arena are booing. Russ must be rolling over in his grave.

• Internet here is as slow as this evening. Rudy up next. The NBA PR staff just passed out a bio of Fernando Martin — guess they knew that “tribute” was coming. Pau bounces six passes off the bottom of the backboard and ends up not being able to make one. Somewhere in Spain, a young child just angrily took off a Rudy Fernandez jersey in disgust.

• This makes no sense. Time ran out and that apparently meant he got two more chances? And another 42?

• JR Smith in the heezy. This is strange. 42 for JR — I’m with that.

• The Dunk Contest is jumping the shark before my eyes.

• Well, that was kinda cool. Impressive. A long set-up though. I guess at least it was entertaining, instead of just Rudy Fernandez and Pau Gasol clanging balls off the backboards.

• Nate just changed into a green Knicks uniform.

• Why does Dwight get to use a Broadway production worth of props but nobody else is allowed to?

• Kryptonite! And then Nate just broke out one of the coolest dunks I’ve ever seen him do. That was cool.

• Whoa. Dwight.

• OK, last round. Nate has a kryptonite ball. Dwight has a cape on. Nate jumped over him and this place exploded. That was pretty amazing.

• Dwight’s up. He’s clearing out the NBA dance teams who are scattered all over the court. Maybe he’s jumping from the free throw line? Yes…well, no, not really. I think Nate just won the dunk contest.

• Nate wins. Yes he did.

Thanks everyone for hanging out here tonight. Catch you ohere tomorrow night for the Game.