Live Blog: All-Star Friday Night
The Celebrity Game/Rising Stars Doubleheader!
Celebrity Game by Maurice Bobb / @reesereport
Rising Stars Game by Lang Whitaker / @langwhitaker
We’re late due to technical difficulties (read: couldn’t get past the L’s velvet rope), but here we are live and direct at the Sprite All Star Celebrity Game 2012. So far, the crowd has reacted loudest to Jersey Shore’s Vinny Guadagnino, so, there’s that, but that won’t deter your favorite mag from bringing you the choice highlights from the game. Buckle up, b-ball fans, here we go!
We start off with Dwight Howard, the unofficial mayor of Orlando (for how much longer?) being interviewed at center court with the shortest man on his roster, Kevin Hart, who has to ‘Say it wit his chest!’ to be heard in here. The went back to back to really highlight Hart’s, ahem, shortcomings in the height department. Let’s just hope he crosses someone over like Justin Beiber did Common last year.
Here comes the free t-shirt toss. I swear, it’s like people have NEVER seen a t-shirt before the way they scream. Oh well, guess it ain’t nothing like getting something “free.”
Kevin Hart missed a bunny! Guess he can’t “hoop.”
Ok, maybe I was wrong. The next time down, Kevin swishes a 15 footer.
JB Smoove misses two freebies at the line. That how “he dooz it!”
J Cole is smooth on the mic, but his shooting form leaves much to be desired.
BTW, Dwight has a Clark Kent type thing going on with his outfit. Maybe there’s a phone booth in the tunnel…
They brought out this cute kid in a Superman suit to dunk on a mini rum and he mean mugged Dwight. Dwight comes out on the timeout and “raises” the mini hoop and Kevin Hart “dunks” on it, too. Hilarious!
Oh yeah, the Secretary of Education can BALL! Duece for the Harvard man.
Jersey Shore with the board and…nothing.
Doug Gottlieb has a nice J! Who’d a thunk it?
Again, Gottlieb has a freakin’ J, B.
Kevin Hart keep calling out fake plays. Dude is wild.
Cole almost dunked on a fastbreak. Almost…
Gottlieb picks Neyo’s pocket and takes it in for the layup.
East leads 24-10 at the end of the first quarter.
This dance contest is telling. People don’t dance no mo’. They only know how to dougie. SMH…
Tim Hardaway in the game. He actually looks like he has a son in college now.
Penny Hardaway at the line. Hey, we got two Hardaways in the game. They should duel to the death or something…
Common finally on the books with two.
Good to see Nick Anderson on the floor here in Orlando.
Sec of Ed doin’ work!
Kevin Hart doing everything he can to get the ref’s attention. Not gonna happen…
It’s always funny watching old people dance. Always.
Mitch Richmond’s J still looks oh, so sweet!
Jersey Shore with the most awkward runner EVER. But hey, two points is two points.
So does seeing Gottlieb ball like this make you take what he says on ESPN more seriously? Thought so.
Sec of Ed with the three ball!
Come on, Cole! Dunk the damn ball! You right there!
Nick with the three!
Halftime! East up 49-31. This is looking like a rout!
Arne Duncan has 15 points, people. 15 points.
Pardon me, I’m gonna go get a Pop Tart during the break. Be right back!
BIG SHOUTS to Paul Jackiewicz of ADIDAS for holding us down and rocking with SLAM. That Adidas party is gonna be bananas tonight!
The second half is about to begin. DJ Irie has the crowd rocking right now!
If he keeps up the pace in the 2nd, my pick for MVP is the Sec of Ed.
Ne-yo should not shoot. EVER.
I wanna see Tim cross somebody at least once. Please!
Mulling is toying with these people. Stop Mully. Don’t hurt ‘em!
Kevin Durant isn’t coaching so much as he’s coasting. See what I did there? Ok, it was lame, but so is Durant’s sideline manner.
That was a nice play, Kevin Hart. Go ‘head and HAM it up!
They need to switch JB Smoove out with Larry David. It’d love to see him complain on the court.
Kevin Hart look like somebody’s little kid out there.
End of the 3rd. East up 71-43.
The West should just dance the last 10 minutes. Couldn’t hurt their chances.
Kevin gets the goaltending call.
Cole World with the dunk! Finally! I knew you could do it, B!
Kevin Hart getting ejected was just about the funniest ish ever. I needed that laugh!
And J Cole blocks Common at the buzzer! How hip hop of him!
That’s ball game people!
East win 86-53.
Kevin Hart gets ejected and wins the MVP. Gotta love this game! That was a class move to share it with the Sec of Ed, though. He was the real MVP of the game. See kids? Education does pay off. Arne Duncan straight takin’ these boys to school!
I’m out SLAM Fam. Next up, Lang…
AND NOW…LIVE FROM THE AMWAY CENTER IN DOWNTOWN ORLANDO, IT’S THE BBVA RISING STARS CHALLENGE!
It’s me, Lang Whitaker, on the 1s and 2s the rest of the night.
• We know we have Team Shaq and Team Chuck tonight. Steve Kerr and Mike Fratello are somehow involved in the coaching staffs.
• On the scoreboard, Kenny interviews Barkley, and Charles says, “I’m overconfident, we’re gonna kick their ass.”
• Kenny turns to Shaq, who says, “First of all, what’s up Orlando?” This is met with a mixed reaction.
• So Team Chuck has Fratello and Mo Cheeks as coaches. Team includes Evan Turner, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, John Wall, MarShon Brooks (#atlshawty), Derrick Williams, Paul George, Kyrie Irving
• Team Shaq is Kerr and Ron Adams, who is either an assistant with the BUlls or a senior vice president of Amway. Team includes Tristan Thompson, Brandon Knight, Norris Cole, Landry Fields, Kemba Walker, Markieff Morris, Greg Monroe, my main man Ricky Rubio, Jeremy Lin (crowd goes wild, of course) and Blake Griffin.
• I have to say, I find myself thinking Team Shaq should be favored. I think about this while I run to the concession stand to grab dinner. I go for the Florida Shrimp Burger, and while I stand there and wait for the burger to be cooked, one of the chefs wanders up and assures me I will enjoy it. This man is prescient.
• Starting lineups:
Team Chuck: Irving, Cousins, Williams, George, Williams
Shaq: Knight, Lin, Rubio, Griffin, Monroe.
• Before tipoff, Jeremy Lin and Ricky Rubio are interviewed by Craig Sager, and Lin says Shaq didn’t show up for practice earlier. Rubio confirms this. Shaq pretends like he didn’t hear this.
• Team Chuck jumps out to a 6-0 lead.
• Team Chuck has a commanding 10-4 lead with 17 minutes left in the first. Rubio is making some slick passes for Team Shaq, though his teammates are not always aware.
• I think this thing must be pretty popular, considering trending topics on Twitter right now include: Craig Sager, Black Pat Riley, Rubio and Lin, NBA Rising Stars Challenge, and John Wall. Also, #DrakeSongsILove
• Five minutes in, and Team Chuck is up 18-7 over Team Shaq. I’m looking around the arena in vain for stats, though apparently someone with probably correct judgement decided against posting them in here.
• Wholesale substitutions for Team Shaq, although Rubio stays in. Warranted. Team Chuck responds with his second unit, which features John Wall. I kinda have a feeling Wall might get loose tonight.
• And on cue, Cole drives to the rim and John Wall pulls a JaVale McGee volleyball block, except legal.
• I love that they have three referees for this game.
• John Wall gets back-to-back buckets to push Team Chuck ahead 34-23. I find myself keeping a sharp eye on Benny the Bull, courtside, in case he gets into some shenanigans.
• Up 9, Team Chuck calls a 20. Not really sure why. In the huddle, we see Mo Cheeks angrily drawing up a play, Poor guy hasn’t slept in like 24 hours (they played the Lakers last night in OKC), so I’m sure he’s enjoying coaching this game.
• This is a really abstract game to watch. There’s end-to-end action, and a lot of buckets, but there’s not really any plays being run. And because these teams have never played together, it’s hard to root for one team over the other.
• Victor Cruz is introduced on the scoreboard, and SLAM EIC Ben Osborne applauds loudly. During the Kiss Cam segment, Jeremy Lin’s parents are showcased, as they send text messages. That last sentence is totally true, BTW.
• Ricky drops a sweet behind-the-back pass to Markieff Morris. Funny thing about this game is Ricky is essentially playing the same way he does during a regular game. Y’all better be glad I’m not writing The Links every day any more, because I’d never shut up about Rubio.
• BTW, Team Chuck leads 53-47, but this is by no means over!
• Even though one team is wearing their home whites and the other their road jerseys, I still have no idea which team it is that’s scoring when a team scores. I have to watch the scoreboard to see which team gets credited with the points.
• They tell us the halftime performance will be by someone called “Flip ‘Em Out.” I’m hopeful this will include Flip Saunders.
• As the half ends, one teams scores a 5-1 layup. Rubio takes the ball out and slings it to the other end, and his team scores a 4-0 layup. I have no idea which team is which.
• At the half, Team Chuck holds a commanding 77-65 lead. I don’t know which players are on which team, but the guys on Team Chuck must be doing pretty well.
• Second half is underway, and Team Chuck has extended their lead to 98-83. Blake Griffin’s getting nasty, and then on an inbounds play, Ricky is running down the center of the floor and a horn sounds. Which is weird. Time out. A minute later, Rubio flings a pass around his back three-quarters of the way down the floor. But I think his team is losing. I’m not even sure Shaq and Chuck know.
• Team Chuck is way ahead, 113-95.
• I take a lap around the loge level of the arena, which is really nice — sparkly and new and clean. I duck into a bathroom, and hear on the radio that team Shaq has cut it to a 127-116 deficit. Dr. Jack Ramsay, who is doing commentary, notes, “No lead is safe in this game!” I hustle back to my seat for the last 5:43.
• When I get back to my seat, there are mascots, cheerleaders and players all over the floor, as the end of a timeout bleeds into the start of play. For a moment, I suspect this is how the rest of the game will be played, which would be amazing.
• And as soon as I decide to take an interest, Team Chuck opens up a huge lead, 133-118. 3:32 to go.
• And that’s that. Team Chuck wins, 146-133. I think this means Shaq will have to take a bungee jump or something. Kyrie Irving finished with 34 points, we are told.
• So, we’re out. There are things to do and places to go. Thanks for coming along for the ride with us all night, and we’ll be back tomorrow bring and early with more from the ground here in O-Town.