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Friday, February 13th, 2009 at 12:20 am  |  46 responses

Links: The Glamour Of All-Star Weekend!

It just doesn’t get any better than this…

by Lang Whitaker

So, you want a taste of the real behind-the-scenes of All-Star Weekend? What it’s like to rub shoulders with the big shots and be a part of all the excitement and glory and glamour?

Well don’t look at me. Right now it’s 11:48 p.m. here on the East Coast and Ryne and I are living large in the C concourse of Dulles Airport. I usually try to stay at least at little vague about my whereabouts, lest some of you wacky Linkstigators prank call me or something, but tonight I will tell you exactly where I am: Gate C5 at Dulles Airport in Washington DC. Try and find me here, why don’t you. I think it’s safe to say I’ve never spent an evening in a more secure environment, except for maybe the time I spent the night at a jail in downtown Atlanta trying to help bail out a guy I didn’t really even know.

Anyway, why are we here? Well, long story. Actually, it’s not a long story but I don’t want to tell it because I’m not happy that we’re here. We were supposed to fly from New York to DC and then DC to Phoenix. The flight out of NYC was delayed, of course. I hate connecting flights. I never ever ever ever want to take connecting flights. I wrote about this at length a few months ago. But we ended up on a connecting flight. (Somehow, because he flew from Newark and not NYC, Ben is on a direct flight that should get into Phoenix tonight. Then again, he had to go to Newark, so maybe a direct flight is redemption enough.)

We spent from 8:15 p.m until about 10:45 p.m. in a customer service line, which provided the bare minimum of service, it seemed. One woman snapped and started screaming at the employees in Spanish and then refused to leave the desk, which certainly pepped things up.

Anyway, best case scenario, Ryne and I could be on the ground in Phoenix tomorrow before noon local time. Worst case scenario we get there around midnight. The only good news is that the worst case scenario is exactly that — we’re booked and have tickets and everything for that late night arrival. Hopefully we can get in there early. I’ll start dropping posts and twittering as soon as I get there. In the meantime, Ben will be there tonight so he can hit you with updates tomorrow.

In the meantime, All-Star Weekend is beginning. One thing I’ve been thinking about: What’s going to happen? We talk so much about everything but the actual game. I’ve got a feeling that D-Wade is due to break out and cop an MVP award. Who wins the dunk contest? Who wins the three-point shootout? Let me know what you guys think. I’ve got nothing better to do.

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  • The Last Kings Fan

    First? Hope you get to Arizona soon Lang. Wouldn’t want you to miss the Celeb game…am I the only one who enjoys the fact that thats the only All Star event ESPN gets to televise?

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    Joe Johnson for H-O-R-S-E champion! Let’s get it!

  • http://tuckermax.com paintrain

    I feel you on the airport situation. Thats why I always travel with a nerf hoop

  • buggsie7_aus

    KD for H.O.R.S.E Champion

  • http://www.tscblogs.com kyle

    yo, I was a regular at Dulles. Had to sleep over there once. Those trams suck! And the burger king people are meeeean.

  • Pardeep

    D-wade for MVP I agree and Roger Mason 3 point Champ and OJ for H-O-R-S-E and Devin Harris for skills contest and Jr Smith Dunk Contest

  • gii

    it’s OJ’s weekend.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    oj mayo for horse
    kapono for 3
    jr smith
    and i think kobe might ballhog his way to mvp, but lebron might out ballhog him

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    i just read about the plane crash in buffalo, damn. the first report said the FAA wasnt sending anyone out until the morning, that seems weird.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    and tony parker for the skills challenge

  • http://courtsidebasketball.blogspot.com/ stu

    shaq for MVP, i have a feeling everyone’s gonna be feeding MDE, lovefest supreme.. otherwise kobe.. juice could definitely win h-o-r-s-e, kapono-for-three is too good to loose the 3ball shootout, and i think i’ll take rudy in the dunk, even though i’d imagine he’s far from odds on favourite.. oh, and rose in the skills.

    and lakers in 6 (while we’re predicting)

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    spurs in 5

  • wilz

    i agree with tarzan…except for the spurs in 5 junk

  • I am the walrus

    Josh Smith should have been in the dunk contest. Why isn’t Eddy Curry in the 3-point shoot out, he has shoot 100% on his careea (2-2). And why isn’t Stromile Swift and DJ Mbenga in the all-star game? All these un-answered questions…

  • JESSEG

    Isn’t anyone else rooting for Amare to get MVP of the Allstar game in PHX and then the next day get traded for role players and late round picks? haha gotta love Steve Kerr right? Sike!He has made even watching fun things like the All Star game taste bitter for us Suns fans.

  • http://kb24.com Bigi

    Amazing Slam Race!West wins the Game…MVP…?…Who knows?Dwight takes take lay-up contest,and Kapono takes home the three-point-hardware…

  • Fred34

    Isn’t the all star game dead? Would anyone really watch it? Or just see highlights after the fact? I haven’t seen one live (or missed watching) in like 15 years or more. The all star game has turned into hallmark cards – a money making institution that seemingly cannot go away even if it annoys the hell out of you. Here’s to you, my favorite third cousin on my mom’s side’s dog: “Scrambles”.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    I’m here and will post something shortly. I think that Buffalo flight’s gate was right near mine tonight. Eerie. Condolences to everyone involved.

  • Rob

    O.J. for horse champion, Dwight will repeat, as Kapono will. East will win over West. Wade MVP. Rooks over Sophs. Period. P-U-R-Y-A-T (Shaq).

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  • http://www.mynameinorange.blogspot.com Hisham

    Bosh MVP oh wait

  • http://www.mynameinorange.blogspot.com Hisham

    West wins, CP3 MVP. 13 points 17 assists 4 rebs

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Rookie Challenge: Durant
    All Star: LeBron
    Shootout: Kapono- 3 times a charm
    Skills: Who is even in it? Someone said TP, so I’ll go with him.
    Dunk: JR or Dwight
    For the team shootout thing: Spurs (again)

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariq al Haydar

    West wins
    Brandon Roy or Pau Gasol MVP
    GEICO/HORSE: Kevin Durant
    Dunk: JR Smith

    3-pt: Roger Mason

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariq al Haydar

    I’ve been looking at the All-Star schedule on NBA.com, and I can’t seem to find the HORSE competition. When will that be on?

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Horse is sponsored by TNT or something, its not an official NBA event Tariq. Nice to see you posting again btw.
    Don’t know when its on. I’ll be looking out for it definitely.

  • http://slamonline.com Sam Rubenstein

    Now this is nostalgic. Those who don’t learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them. Oooooh how teacher-y of me. Do NOT eat an airport burrito and then sprint from gate to gate.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    I’m guessing NY flights were delayed from those gale-force winds in the Northeast yesterday.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Just wondering: is that either Lang or Ryne in the pic?

  • Scott

    MVP: Kobe (because West will win)
    Dunk: Dwight (if fans vote, no way he loses the popularity contest)
    3 P(ea)t: Kapono
    H.O.R.S.E: Joe Johnson
    Skills: Tony Parker
    Shooting Stars! Team Phoenix

  • Manumaniac

    NBA All Star Game is nothing but a big fraud the last couple of years! Rashard Lewis, Tony Parker, Mo Williams, Devin Harris and David West are not All-Stars! Noway! Shaq was selected only because the game takes place in Phoenix. Amare plays awful lately and the Suns are falling apart, so he shouldn’t be an All Star this year. Allen Iverson is also playing awful and still he’s gonna start the game. That’s ridiculous!

  • Manumaniac

    Thank God there is Lebron, Kobe, D-Wade, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Paul Pierce, Brandon Roy Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan. These are real time All Stars! Parker and West shouln’t be there. The reason they were both chosen is because they are teamates of Tim Duncan and Chris Paul respectively…

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Dude, just enjoy the game. Yeesh…

  • MalevolentKing7242

    KD for horse, Kapono for 3, Howard for dunk, Kobe for MVP… Who else on the west can get it from him?

  • adams

    Won’t STD-Wade be too busy having sex parties and smoking weed? If he can pull off the MVP after that I’ll be impressed.

  • http://coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co

    Yesterday I read online that Phoenix has the highest kidnapping rate. Watch your back out there Lang……
    I don’t like Joe’s chances in GEICO, but I’m claiming a victory for him anyway. Mike Bibby wins the 3 point shootout, Al Horford wins MVP of the Rook/Soph game and Joe wins MVP of the All Star game.
    These opinions are not in any way related to my Hawks love. Promise.

  • Myung

    Rookie game mvp: Westbrook. Shooting stars: PHX team. Skills: Rose. G-E-I-C-O: Joe Johnson. 3 point: Kapono. Dunk: Dwight. All Star Game: Like someone said up there, Amare for MVP and then gets traded within 48 hours of winning it.

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    To the person that mentioned Josh Smith… he was offered a chance to be in the dunk contest and declined due to health reasons.

  • http://www.kicksonfire.com Anton

    Dwight will jump over a phone booth

  • bakers’ dozen

    JR Smith with a windmill from the free throw line for the dunk title.

  • Myung

    JR Smith has really re-invented himself as a 3 point shooter. I’d almost forgotten that he was a rookie on the Hornets, doing that behind the back dunk, a few seasons ago. He’s easily got to be one of the few guys in the L who has a somewhat legit shot at winning both the dunk contest and 3 point shootout (like Kenny Smith tried to do before) on the same night. I doubt it would ever happen, but he’s one of the few who could attempt it.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I can’t wait for the Rookie/Sophomore game tonight. This is one for the history books, folks.

  • Myung

    My favorite rookie sophomore game was class of 1999 vs 1998 in oakland in 2000. The game went into OT, where the rookies won the event. It was the first time the rookie vs. sophomore format was even used. You had Elton Brand and Steve Francis killing it for the rookies. You had Jason Williams bouncing the pass off his elbow. You had Paul Pierce, Dirk, and Bibby playing well for the Sophs. Andre Miller got booed every time he touched the ball (because he refused to dunk it on a breakaway). You even had Michael Olowokandi starting for the Sophomore squad, even though he’s out of the league now and 1998 was arguably one of the 5 best drafts of the past 15 years or so (strange things…). IMO, this was the standard bearer for all Rookie-Sophomore games.

  • Uzi

    ODEN, ROSE, O.J., BEASLEY .. its now or never yall .. in fact if the Rookies don’t win and the camish doesn’t comsider cancellin the whole thing I’m gonna start to think he went on gone soft. Slamdunk contest already looks crazy. J.R. is a highflyer, Lil Nate always gets the croud, and Dwight!!! yall I heard he was hintin at a possible Dr J reinvention of a dunk. NICE.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Dwight should 360 on a 12 foot hoop.

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