by Lang Whitaker

Last week we covered Steve Nash uncovering his new haircut back home in Canada. He was in Canada for his now-annual charity game, which he held this year in Vancouver. Who was there? Nelly Furtado! Calm down, Sam!

Anyway, reader Sean attended the game, and he passed along these notes…
Hey Lang,
In case you didn’t know, the Steve Nash Charity Classic was on July 22nd in Vancouver. I haven’t gone to a live NBA game of any sorts in like two years, so I thought it’d be fun to check the game out, and this is what happened:

It was a hot Saturday afternoon, and when we arrived at GM Place to pick up our tickets we ordered through Ticketmaster, guess what?  The computers were down!  It’s like Y2K, but in the year 2006…So yeah, we waited for like an hour in the heat, it was crowded like a mofo too, and we finally got into the game, only to find out that it was already halfway into the first quarter. I have a feeling that Ticketmaster’s customer service line will be quite busy in the next few days. So far, not a very good experience.

Ok, I have to admit, everything was a little hazy after that, because I was pretty pumped to just see some live NBA action, even though it was All-Star style basketball (fancy handles and dimes, dunks, 3’s, and no D.) Basically, the teams were divided up into East and West, meaning players on East coast teams are on East, and vice versa. I guess I’ll just run through who was on what team, and what I noticed from each player.

West:
Steve Nash — back to back MVP put on a show with some nice dishes. Rocking the new shaved dome too.
Michael Finley — 3’s and dunks, looked lively out there.
Jackson Vroman — had some nice dunks, with authority too!
Walter McCarty — very neat follow through for his 3 point shot, even a few nice dunks from the old fella (how old is he now, he’s gotta be late 30’s).
Devin Harris — this guy’s way quicker than he is on NBA Live (I’m such a nerd). Nice stroke from 3, along with some nice dunks, including one off the backboard.
Nikoloz Tskitishvili — some nice finishes off of Nash feeds, but didn’t really stand out too much. Confused him with Vroman near the beginning.

East:
Jamal Crawford — expected more And One stuff from him, although he did showcase some wicked handles and dimes.
Raymond Felton — quick fella, awkward looking jumper though.
Charlie Villanueva — being a Toronto fan, I’m sad that we lost Charlie. Nice touch for his size, probably the best dunker of the night too.
Morris Peterson — deadly from beyond the arc, as usual.
Felipe Lopez — showed some nice handles, but didn’t really stand out too much.
Jay Williams — I was surprised to see him tonight, but he was impressive. Shot the 3 ball very well. Wasn’t lightning quick obviously, but quicker than I thought he was at this stage. It was great to see him out on the court again and having a good time.
Steven Hunter — I guess the most “legit” big man here, grabbed some board here and there, had a nice and-one tho.

So they basically did their thing for 3 quarters and the score ran up to something ridiculous, both teams were over 100 points by that point, so they reset the score to 0-0 for the 4th, and the losing team had to drop and do 20 in front of the crowd. It’s on now! It was nice to see some effort put into defence. Nash scored a few quick buckets and gave the West an early lead, but the East proved too much for them, with Mo-Pete and Williams raining down 3’s, and Charlie V doing his thing on the inside. The East took it in the 4th, and the West had to do their push ups, as promised. The final score through the 4 quarters ended up being somewhere near the ballpark of 177-140 or something. I just remembered it was probably more than the score of 2 NBA games combined.

We got out of there as soon as the game ended and ran for our car. There were more than 16 thousand people in attendance, imagine the traffic! Luckily we got out of there before traffic clogged up. Despite the whole Ticketmaster fiasco in the beginning, it was a really good experience. I’ll be in Toronto for school once September rolls around, and I’m looking forward to attending some Raptors games next year. Curious to see how that Bargnani kid’s gonna turn out. Anyways, I know my coverage (if you can even call it that) is hazy, but I figured after all these years, I should at least try to make a little bit of contribution.  Keep up the good work!

Sean