L.O.N. — All-Star Weekend 2011
LeBron, Kobe and all of the lights.
by Shannon Booher
Line Of The Night:
LeBron James — 29 points, 12 boards, 10 assists
We are a triple-double shop. We built this on a love for triple-doubles. The King racks up the 2nd Ice Cube in All-Star history, then he gets the L.O.N.nie. It is that simple. The highlight(s) of the game, for us, was when Bron would press his “I’m better than you button”, word to Greg Boone, do his best Unstoppable train impersonation, go past everybody and just dunk. Love it.
MVP Of The Night:
Kobe Bryant — 37 points, 14 boards, 3 assists, 3 steals
His 4th MVP ties him for the most in All-Star game history, with Bob Pettit and it sho nuff looked like he was going to take down Wilt’s record of 42 points, in the 4th quarter. It was Los Angeles, and it was his time. The Kobster decided to put on a full scale production of the Kobe Show in the first three quarters… but was he clutch? The West needed Kevin Durant to lock this thing up. Let the firestorm rain down. [Looks up and waves hands in bring it on motion]
Dunk Of The Night:
The enduring image that is sticking with us from the dunk contest is Baron Davis popping out of the sunroof of that car to throw the oop to Blake Griffin! Awesome. It makes us smile every time we think of it.
Somebody on Twitter mentioned that this year all 4 contestants should have been given 4 dunks, and we agree. All of the guys brought creativity and execution this year, which is rare. Javale McGee, though… did you run out of ideas? On his last attempt it seemed like he had already emptied his bag of tricks. And obviously, it goes without saying that there was a bit too much, um, shameless promotion by a certain car brand this year, but we really can’t knock the hustle.
Distribution Center Of The Night:
John Wall — 22 assists, 12 points, 2 steals, 2 boards, 1 Rookie Challenge MVP
Wall set out to break the assist record for the rookie game and did it, leading the rookies to their second consecutive victory. One of those passes was the highlight of the evening — a crazy bounce oop to Blake Griffin. Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice. Word to Fabolous.
Built For This Of The Night:
DeJuan Blair — 28 points, 15 boards, 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks
What is up with Blair and All-Star games? After last year’s standout performance in the Rookie game, he put in another monster effort this year, as a sophomore, including an unbelievable self-oop off the board. He might be even better than the world thinks. Every time he breaks out of the Spurs system, he balls out. Definitely shows he is the perfect fit for the Spurs organization, because he is capable of crazy individual production, but sacrifices to fit in there.
Celebrity Of The Night:
BIEBER! Justin Bieber, the celebrity game MVP, made a belieber out of a lot of NBA fans over the weekend and simultaneously brought in a lot of haters for his attempted takeover of All-Star Weekend. His crossover of Common in the celeb game is the stuff of legend at this point, and even though the fans would have voted him MVP even if he had sat the bench the entire game, he legitimately showed intensity and overall skill in Friday night’s celebrity game. People on the hater side got their rocks off too, when Scottie Pippen (almost cruelly) blocked one of his shots. As a result, Bieber was the talk of the weekend during the various telecasts. All we can say is, BIEBER ALERT!
Legend Of The Night:
And speaking of Scottie Pippen, he looked VERY good in the celebrity game, causing Magic Johnson, coach of the opposing team, to exclaim repeatedly how he was having flashbacks to the 1991 Bulls vs. Lakers NBA Finals. He was not exaggerating either. You are telling us Pip couldn’t give this years Bulls 10 good minutes per game in the Playoffs? That three was looking super nice.
Forget the Kobe Show, apparently when Maria Menounos is on the red (in this case magenta) carpet, it’s the Maria Show! Pass the ball Maria!… Nice victory for James Jones in the 3-point contest. Homey is a 3-point shooting robot out there and we loved his thoughtful answers in the post-competition interview. Like we have said before, your boy might have the best job in the world… Meeeeeeeeeeelllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll-oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo… We don’t care what people say, we love Derrick Rose’ yellow shoes. They looked great as a contrast to the blue uniforms. And yes, L.O.N. is run by a Michigan grad!… Shaq was outstanding in his brief appearance with the TNT crew. The way he presented his idea about a potential tie between Ray Allen and Paul Pierce in the 3-point contest was classic… KANYE=Awesome. And really, all the Sunday pre-game/halftime performances… Loved Dwyane Wade rooting like crazy for Dorell Wright in the 3-point contest. DW4L… We are not on the Los Fearless bandwagon. At first, we thought it was centered around only Kobe, and that was fine. But it’s so transparently Los Angeles inspired, and yet features guys like Rondo and Pierce. Doesn’t feel right… Let the trade season begin…
A Moment Of Silence Of The Night:
Many in the industry had a heavy heart over this weekend. First, the TNT guys gave a shout out to Stuart Scott, who was undergoing cancer treatment. Then the news spread that Blake Griffin’s very good friend, whom Blake was set to visit in OKC next week and who had been fighting cancer for a minute, passed in the days leading up to the weekend. Finally, word broke late Sunday that Mark Jackson’s younger brother and streetball star Troy “Escalade” Jackson had passed in his sleep while in Los Angeles for All-Star Weekend. To all affected, hold your head. Our thoughts are with you.