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Monday, February 18th, 2008 at 12:33 am  |  101 responses

2008 All-Star Game on TNT Recap

Where Russ Bengtson hating on Reggie Miller happens.

by Russ Bengtson

PREGAME

8 p.m. Chris Rock’s intro is exactly like something he’d give at the start of the Oscars, the Emmys or something truly prestigious like the MTV Movie Awards. I can’t wait for the game to tip off someday.

I actually have one of those East All-Star jackets, courtesy of adidas. Should I wear it tonight? I probably should, but it’s warm in here. The versions the actual All-Stars are wearing feature the All-Star logos of all their previous appearances. Kidd and Kobe have a lot.

David Aldridge interviews Dwight Howard on the sidelines, who says “I guess I got a new nickname, Superman.” Does Shaq know about this? Also, the Kidd deal is back on. Again.

Craig Sager looks like a complete fool, as usual. Can’t someone tell him to wear normal clothes? I know it’s his schtick, but it’s the people he’s INTERVIEWING that are supposed to be the focus. Right? I don’t get it. Chris Paul says he’s nervous, and looks it. His first All-Star game in front of his hometown fans? No wonder. He’s got maroon, gold and white Air Jordan XX3s on right now, and one of his CP3 signature shoes in the same colorway in his hands (which he’ll be changing into at halftime).

The TNT crew discusses the nervousness of your first time (Magic and Charles, at least—Kenny was never an All-Star) and the stupendous food they’ve had in New Orleans. Shockingly, it’s not Charles who shifts the conversation in that direction.

8:11 Aldridge with Jason Kidd, who speaks in platitudes about the All-Star game and says not much about the trade. A smile threatens to cross his face as he says he thinks he’ll be in Dallas.

Sager with Kobe. “I’d rather sit out, as much as I like to play in these games.” He then goes on to make fun of Sager’s ludicrous tie. Thank you, Craig Sager, once again for making sure it’s always about you.

Barkley doesn’t think the Lakers make the playoffs with Kobe out for six weeks. Magic agrees, and says that this is the happiest Kobe has been since Shaq was there. Kobe was happy when Shaq was there? I think they could make the playoffs anyway, but that’s just me.

Kenny Smith thinks the Kidd trade—if it happens—puts the Mavericks in contention to win the West. I don’t agree, since they’re going to have to re-tool their ENTIRE offense and defense on the fly. Charles thinks it’s a risky trade, since they’re giving up young players and a pair of first-round picks for a soon-to-be 35-year-old point guard. That, I can agree with. Rod Thorn is a genius. Other thoughts on the would-be trade: I really hope Keith Van Horn suits up for the Nets this year, even if it pushes back his Hall of Fame eligibility, and I think it’s great that a guy named Trenton winds up in New Jersey. I hear his brothers Newark and Metuchen could ball, too.

8:19. Doug Collins and Marv Albert. We start with LeBron James, who could be Doug’s MVP if he had to choose right now. Then the Pistons backcourt. Collins feels the Pistons are the team to beat in the West. Meanwhile, mascot mayhem goes on behind them. Reggie Miller is saying something about Chris Paul being the Prince, but I refuse to listen to anything he says. Intros when we come back, apparently. I’m ready for a spectacle.

8:21. The first Fave Five commercial of the telecast. And that’s why I don’t eat shrimp! I’m as sick of Charles as Dwyane is. In commercials, at least. I could listen to him talk NBA all day and all night.

8:23. There’s a great movie to be made about the ABA. There’s also countless terrible movies to be made, and Will Ferrell made one. Look! It’s Will Ferrell being wacky in weird situations!

8:25. Harry Connick, Jr. (disappointingly not dressed like his character from Copycat) and Branford Marsalis are doing the introductions. But first, the Rebirth Brass Band featuring Trombone Shorty! Now THAT’S a name.

The Eastern All-Stars appear from what looks like a high-class brothel. With their warm-ups on they look like the French National Soccer team. Caron and KG are introduced first, looking dapper (KG especially so). Chauncey, blasé. Ray Allen. Joe Johnson, taciturn. Paul Pierce, cool. Rip Hamilton. Antawn Jamison, stoked. Rasheed Wallace, boogieing. And the starters emerge from the smoke in the back. Jason Kidd, protesting. Dwyane Wade, buggin’. Dwight Howard, dancing. Chris Bosh, chewing. LeBron James, REALLY dancing. And making the Roc sign. Of course. Gotta cross-promote if you’re gonna be an icon.

8:32. Enter red-hatted trumpeter Kermit Ruffins. Actually, this whole thing looks sort of like a Muppet Show set. I half expect to see Miss Piggy chase Kermit across the front. No, not Kermit Ruffins.

West intros. Darrell Walker’s suit is SHARP. Byron Scott untangles his arms enough to wave. Chris Paul, nervous but happy. Steve Nash announced while they show Brandon Roy. Oh, now B-Roy. David West, still disbelieving. CBooz, hirsute. Amare Stoudemire, applauds, holds up one finger. Dirk Nowitzki, hippie. And the starters. Allen Iverson, calm. Kobe Bryant, braced. Yao Ming, tall. Carmelo Anthony, braided. Tim Duncan, processing.

For the Canadian anthem, Debra Cox. She looks like she’s trying out for American Idol. Classy outfit, lady. Couldn’t find a dress that fit? And the camera cuts to token Canadian Steve Nash. I still don’t get why they perform the Canadian anthem before games not played in Canada. Assuming the NBA’s idiotic European expansion goes through, will they start performing the anthems of all those countries before the All-Star game, too? I can hardly wait! Well, here are the flags of every country represented, anyway.

For the national anthem, a trio of Branford Marsalis, Stephanie Jordan and a guitarist whose name I’ve forgotten already. No offense. You know, some of the best anthems I’ve ever heard have been performed by former players? Wayman Tisdale did a mean bass version, and my man Thurl Bailey actually has a great voice. Go figure. This version’s all right, if a bit subdued. It won’t be replacing Marvin Gaye’s version atop the All-Star charts, though.

The NBA: Where Commercials Happen.

This is the 57th All-Star Game. I did not know that. Before tip, Davis West and Chris Paul address the crowd. Well, Chris Paul does. Just a brief thank you for supporting the New Orleans community. David West has a deep voice—they’re trading off. Teleprompted? “New Orleans is a great town with wonderful people,” Paul concludes.

I hope the Kidd deal goes through at halftime and he has to change uniforms.

Two refs are making their first All-Star appearances. Great. Where’s Joey Crawford? Where’s Dick Bavetta? Where’s Bobby Covert?

1,100 plus words and it ain’t even tipped off.

FIRST QUARTER

8:49 p.m. Tip-off. Dwight, to Kidd. Bron tries a lookaway off the penetration, and commits the first turnover. The West gives it right back, and Wade gets ahead for a dunk.

Duncan misses a 19-footer, and Bron flicks an oop to Dwight Howard. Collins says it’s “shades of last night,” but it really isn’t. Although the replay reveals that his elbo was above the rim AND he got fouled.

Bosh, dunk. Duncan, off glass. He’s calibrated now.

Bosh, miss. Melo squares up, shoots over LeBron, swish. Bron misses a three, Bosh recovers it for an easy dunk.

Carmel omisses too strong, Iverson takes the dribble behind his back, has a pass denied, then is fouled by LeBron, earns his first pints at the line. Enter Nash for Kobe at the 9:13 mark. Guess he’s not gonna get the MVP this year. Was it really worth having him play those three minutes?

Lebron, to a cutting Howard, who gets fouled by Duncan on a dunk attempt. I wish my remote had a Reggie Miller mute button. Work on that, Time Warner. Thanks.

This game is sloppy. Kidd with a nice lob to a hard-charging LeBron along the baseline, though. Yao can’t quite get to it. Nice pass.

Kidd leads the break, tries to sling it off the glass to someone. Doesn’t work.

LeBron outlet to Wade, layup. East leads 14-5.

Yao recovers a miss, gets a layup of his own, then ruins a Bosh layup attempt. Duncan comes back with a three-point attempt (who do you think you are, Zach Randolph?) that almost shatters the glass.

Chris Bosh x 2. 18-7.

Kidd to LeBron, who tries to fire a 90 mph behind the back pass to someone up top. It flies by and goes out of bounds.

Kobe’s right hand is wrapped up to the point where it looks like a lobster claw. He should come back in and play with it wrapped like that.

LeBron is long on a deep three.

Melo to the rim, it counts, and the foul. Time out on the floor with 5:54 left in the first. Kind of anticlimactic so far, too many turnovers.

8:58. “You’re not drivin’ through no tunnel!”

Aldridge with more news on the Kidd trade. This couldn’t wait until after the damn game? Give me a break. I’m not listening! LALALALALALALALA.

The uniforms are really confusing. Are there four teams?

Hey, now it’s Dirk talking about the potential trade with Sages! Why would he say anything after all that’s gone on? “I wanna make sure it’s really on until I comment on it.” Good man, Dirk. P.S. Spilt-screens are the best. Thanks for doing interviews during the game! It’s only All-Star, it’s not like anything exciting ever happens.

There are a LOT of substitutions out of the timeout, and they’re just telling the viewers about them now. Thanks. Really. Glad we discussed the trade-that-might-happen again first.

Chauncey Billups stops an 8-0 West run. And Doug Collins reiterates that the East will go through Detroit. He’s not biased or anything, though. Reggie Miller is incoherent.

“Chauncey Billups, one of the best free-throw shooters in the NBA,” Marv says, as CB4 puts up a brick. He makes them when it counts, though.

Rasheedbound, Pierce triple. Iverson to Amare, layup. Shots are going up so fast I can barely keep track. Thank God for timeouts and turnovers.

Celebrities! Again, don’t care. Sorry.

P-Double off glass. MVP so far?

Chris Paul almost overthrows Dirk in the corner, who slings it to West in the lane, who drives in for a dunk.

Rasheed with two straight offensive boards, one off a HORRIBLE three-point brick from Antawn Jamison. Reggie Miller is being mercifully quiet.

Paul Pierce got that midrange game poppin. And Amare hits a three. Pierce, to Jamison underneath. Rasheed gets called for a ticky-tack foul on Dirk and tragically doesn’t flip out. I guess it’s only the first quarter.

Rip from the corner, and the West (and West) can’t get a shot off at the buzzer. East up 34-28 after one.

SECOND QUARTER

I’m not much for impressions, but Frank Caliendo’s Charles Barkley kills me every damn time. Turrible knucklehead.

Changing into the personalized authentic East jersey for the rest of the game. Thanks yet again, adidas.

There was a block in the first quarter? I hate having to look at the keys when I type.

Aldridge with Doc. Is he talking about slowing the ball down? Someone fire that guy. And the quarter starts split-screen. Awesome.

9:19. Doug Collins ruminating on Doc Rivers still coaching after last year’s awful record. Brandon Roy hits his first shot right off the bench. Guess his nerves are OK. Then again he just played on this floor two nights ago.

Jason Kidd hit a shot? And Roy drops another one. He’s already better tonight than he was in the rookie/soph game. Bron miss, Roy rebound, Dirk miss, Bron rebound. Kidd to LeBron, dunk. CP3 HIGH off glass. And David West scores again. 40-36, East. Joe Johnson three. No time to expand.

Roy, fake, layup. Ray Allen with another three for the East. I think Reggie just said (about Chris Paul) “for his size, he’s a great leader.” What? Just go away, Reggie. I hope he hasn’t officially retired and the Pacers re-sign and trade his ass.

Boozer’s got a board, and we roll back to time out. Reggie briefly mentions the idea of the best 16 making the playoffs, which I agree with. Dammit. Oh well.

National Anthem highlights during ‘Inside Trax’? I love when they just show laughter. That’s fantastic. Although Bron bulling TD out of bounds and TD saying “that’s not right” is pretty great. I wish they’d show the miked up stuff unedited on HBO or something. Actually, I wish I could watch this game on HBO with JUST the mikes, no announcers.

Hey, it’s Sager with Kobe. Split screen! This is great, because it’s like I’m watching the game on a 13-inch TV now. Can they figure out ways to marginalize the game even further? I refuse to talk about the action while they’re doing split-screen interviews. I can hear that baskets are being scored, but I’m not interested enough to squint and figure out who’s scoring them.

Oh, we’re back. Nice layup, Bron. It’s 53-48, East. Turnover West, and a double-lob for the East—Kidd to Bron to Dwight. East loses it, Paul loses it, Bron flips it up for Howard, who catches it and flips it back up for Bron. Next time down, Bron for Howard again. Apparently the East’s strategy is “throw it somewhere near the basket, Dwight’ll get it.” Hard to argue with that.

SHUT UP, REGGIE.

Chris Paul for three, LeBron for about six. OK, three.

Boozer miss, LeBron rebound, Paul steal, failed oop to B-Roy, and I’m not even sure whose ball it is anymore. Time out.

Will Ferrell is the biggest sellout in the history of sellouts.

Reggie Miller likes Dwight Howard. You can’t get that insight just anywhere. “There’s nothing wrong with a coach coaching.” I’m glad I’m not near any sharp objects right now.

Dwight Howard dunk contest highlights. Reggie, again. “I remember when he took his jersey off and put the cape on…” You remember all the way back to last night, Reg? Wow.

Kind of bummed that Rip Hamilton’s not wearing some sort of a Mardi Gras mask.

Not sure what the West shooting percentage is, but it’s not good. Rasheed follows up with a lefty three-point attempt, then a righty on the next trip, with exactly the same result. Misses. Time out.

A Rip three makes the East lead 10. Dirk answers with a two. Carmelo Anthony wouldn’t be able to guard Dwyane Wade if his legs worked. Booz layup, Sheed three. Melo backs down Wade, has to work for a layup. Wade answers.

Wait, fans can vote for MVP, too? Where does it end?

East leads 74-65 at the half. I need to run across the street and get a beer if I’m gonna survive another half with Reggie.

A glittering Craig Sager interviews a hoarse Dwight Howard. Sager is then raised to the ceiling to play a disco ball in the halftime show.

HALFTIME

9:49. “You ever been to Amsterdam?”

The NBA: Where The MVP Losing In The First Round Happens.

Hey look, it’s Harry Connick and his Big Band? But first, some pontification about the New Orleans music tradition. And I guess this is going to be an All-Star musical cast? Cynicism aside, however, Ellis Marsalis is off the meter. And obviously Connick himself has got chops, but I keep thinking of him telling Will Smith “you’ll never be an astronaut if you marry a stripper” in Independence Day (which Fox Movie Channel shows 250 times a week), so I can’t take him seriously.

I keep half expecting Dwight Howard to jump over this entire set and dunk on it.

Dr. John puts the hip in hippie. And I’m pretty sure I just saw Steve Javie playing trombone.

Ivan and Art Neville? How many damn pianos are out there anyway? And how many Neville brothers are there? One of them stole Michael Jordan’s hat.

Allen Toussaint! He’s “the legend,” and I’m not quite sure who he is. I feel guilty about this, whether it’s my fault or not. Gonna take five.

The crew. Highlights. Kenny Smith: “For me, it’s who becomes the star of stars.” He mentions LeBron and Dwight. Charles: “Would it be fun to play with Jason Kidd or what?” By the way, my favorite Barkleyism is “athaletic.” Also, I like how everyone says ‘Jason Kidd doesn’t care about scoring’ instead of ‘Jason Kidd can’t score.’

Magic has Bron for MVP, and I’m not sure what anyone else says. Charles Barkley blows the Goodyear blimp line, and it’s funnier that way. Charles is everything that Reggie isn’t.

Dwyane Wade’s in an awful lot of commercials for a guy on such a turrible team.

10:13. “What is it, Chuck?”

THIRD QUARTER

Starters start, with Nash replacing Kobe. Byron Scott is a hater.

Dwyane Wade, reverse, flip over the shoulder. Iverson to Duncan, knocked away.

Apparently Allen Iverson spoke in the locker room to get the West back in the game. AI is the best in All-Star games—and then Doug Collins calls him out for his turnovers. No wonder why he got fired three times. Jerk.

Yao taking threes? Guess he’s American now.

Reggie just called Kobe “triple-ocho.” I’m counting slowly back from 247,000.

Bron three, Iverson two. Kobe is still in the locker room, presumably receiving treatment.

Iverson to Nash for a layup. Bosh misses, it’s knocked ahead to Iverson, but Duncan blows a dunk. He must be running XP.

Melo cuts the East lead to six.

Dwight supermans that Yao.

Jason Kidd throws a lob way too high, but Bron almost gets it on the second opportunity. Instead it goes the other way and Yao dream shakes Dwight, who fouls him.

Bron misses a three, Bosh rebounds, hits the midrange J. AI answers. Reggie: “Allen Iverson is a competitor.” NO! Really?

Kidd to Bron, to running/drifting fallaway. Nothing but net. Doug Collins is impressed. Yao tries another three, misses badly, and Bron catches another dunk. Next year the Chinese contingent is voting for Marcus Camby.

Nash stops the East 8-0 run. AI misses a layup, and Melo loses the ball out of bounds.

Chris Bosh has 14 points, and Pierce has an assist. And Allen gets an and-one. Apparently there have been mass substitutions. Ray Allen proceeds to brick the free throw.

Nash. Again. Keep shootin’, Steve!

Boozer over Sheed. Bang. And the West comes back again, Melo dunks off a Paul pass.

Ray Allen responds with a three.

I’d like a closer look at Paul Pierce’s shoes. And Rasheed’s.

Time out.

The game re-starts while there’s just a big Heineken logo on the screen.

Chris Paul to David West, who does his best Charles Smith impersonation. (Credits to Rasheed Wallace and Antawn Jamison. I think Sheed is yelling. I love Sheed.)

Steve Nash ain’t passing today.

Ray Allen with the over-the-head layup, then a steal. And a clear path to the basket for an open layup. Has am injury replacement ever won MVP?

Nash is still shooting.

Paul Peezy fo’ sheezy. The West takes 20, no, a full, down 104-93.

“Reggie’s Remarks”????? The only ones I want to hear is “I quit.”

Hey, it’s Bob Pettit! His thoughts. “Where are all the white guys?”

Rasheed’s AF1 straps are gangsta. And Pierce is cold-blooded.

The West just can’t get anything going. East holds for a last shot. Pierce dribbles up top, goes through his legs, shoots a three off the back rim, time expires. East up 13 at the end of three.

FOURTH QUARTER

Sages with Byron Scott, whose arms AREN’T crossed! He’s talking strategy. That’s funny. At least they keep it short. Marv: “Byron’s looking to get Yao back in there for that three-point touch.” Funny, guy.

Reggie, a former teammate of Byron’s gives deep insight—stats that you could find on Basketball Reference.

Amare with the fadeaway in the paint, Bron misses a high-flying floater over Dirk.

Amare dunks on Dwight Howard! Ouch. And stop calling him Superman, dammit! It’s like if people started calling Michael Jordan “Dr. J” in 1985. Wrong on so many levels.

A Boozer dunk (with his usual “I’m being electrocuted!” leg kicks), and the West has awakened. Again. West within five, Paul has a mess of assists, and the West is on an 8-0 run.

Fan voting for MVP opens when it’s a five-point game with over eight minutes left. Terrific. Not like anything can change.

amareisabeast.com, baby.

Bron, staying in the MVP hunt. But Dirk responds with a three, and it’s a two-point game. Bosh loses a rebound, Roy scores on the enduing break, and we’re tied at 110. Bosh is blocked, and I think Billups tries to pick up a mid-court charge. In an All-Star game?

Dirk, guarded by Kidd (!), gets a layup, and the West leads. Billups ties it back up. Dirk misses, the ball travels around, and Duncan puts it in off glass. Billups misses a 3, Paul misses a layup, Bron, guarded by Paul up top, AIRBALLS a three. That ain’t what MVPs do.

Allen Iverson is vocal. Also, he calls everybody “boy.” The NBA: Where Steve Nash Kissing His Bicep Happens.

Sager with Nash. Nash snatches Sager’s handkerchief, blows his nose in it, puts it back. Also, Shaq apparently is back in Phoenix today. Sucks. Also, free pub for Nash’s shoes while the split-screen game continues. Not like it’s compelling or anything.

Dirk airball. Bron tough reverse layup. East by two. Dirk with an open path to the rim, two-handed dunk.

Wade with a bad turnover, Bron jumps over the first row trying to get to a loose ball. Tragically, he doesn’t land on Reggie Miller.

Doug Collins marvels over the shoes. OK, old man.

Wade layup attempt blocked emphatically by Amare Stoudemire, who gets the and one on the other end. MVP candidate for sure. That was a ridiculous shot—getting hit by Dwight Howard AND off-balance. Ray Allen comes back with the conventional three, and Paul for two.

Paul to Roy, layup. 13th assist for Paul. He’s the leading candidate for MVP right now. Allen with another 25-footer, though. He’s got 20, tied up at 122 with 2:08. CP misses 3, Allen buries another one. OK, HE’S the leading candidate for MVP. 125-122, 1:49. Time out.

Trouble B-Roy with the bad pass.

CP3. Tied up again at 125 with 1:32 to go.

Allen misses a three, Duncan rebounds, Paul brings it up, Duncan doubled, the West turns it over, and Bron drives in with a RIDICULOUS dunk on Dirk. He’s got 27. Offensive foul on Paul on the other end.

Wade with a layup AND the foul. Goes sprawling. Gets up eight times. Misses the free throw. Still up four, 30 seconds.

Wade blocks a Dirk three. Well. That’s embarrassing.

Allen all the way, East up six. Roy hits a three with 8.6, Allen is fouled by Paul with 8.2. Allen hits one of two, and Billups comes in for Howard. And the East has it back? Missed that. Allen is fouled again with 1.8 seconds, and Byron Scott is out of tricks. Allen hits both, has many points.

And that’s it. The East wins, 134-128. Either Allen or Bron is gonna get MVP. Doubt they’ll split it, although you never know.

Apparently it’s LeBron. Which is fine, but Ray Allen kept the East in it when it truly mattered. Maybe that last dunk made the difference—which it definitely could have. David Stern says something about “thank you for letting us assist in the restoration of this great American city.” Which is fine. “We’re still getting out of here as soon as humanly possible, and you’d better average 15,000 a night or the Hornets will be too,” he doesn’t add.

Seems like the fans would have been cool with Allen as MVP—at least the ones who are there. Crazy that Bron has a second All-Star MVP at 23. Sheesh.

And that’s a wrap, folks. Thank God, because 4,028 words is plenty.

UPDATE: Or maybe it isn’t. I just published a ginormous sneaker wrap-up column on KING. Go check that out and add some comments so I can feel better about myself. Carpal tunnel, what?

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  • whooo!

    i liked how reggie called the west lineup during hte fourth as “small”, and doug collins was fed up of all his crap and just corrected him bluntly. it was when they had duncan, amare, dirk, roy, paul. though maybe reggie knew dirk really doesn’t count as a 7 footer.

  • http://slamonline.com Holly MacKenzie

    RUSSS these notes are crazy. Teach me how to type this much without my hands going numb? Thanks.. Can’t wait to read this!

  • http://www.google.ca crystal

    WHOOOOO!!!!!!!
    LeBron voted MVP for 08 hes awesome…..well gtg biee
    Crystallll iiLoveyou

  • http://www.mybleedingfingertips.blogspot.com/ Myles Brown

    “I wish they’d show the miked up stuff unedited on HBO or something. Actually, I wish I could watch this game on HBO with JUST the mikes, no announcers.”

    Get out of my brain. Great notes. Or did I even have to tell you that? I said get out!

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    Holly: Be a really crappy typist.
    I need to go out and try and wash Reggie out of my head.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    I wish I thought of this when I was typing out the notes, but better late than never: Reggie Miller is master of the oblivious.

  • http://www.another48minutes.blogspot.com Gerard Himself

    does Craig Sager have a wife? If so, that would give me hope. I almost think that it’s very long-running joke with all of those clowsuits he’s been wearing for all these years. I just don’t understand how he can stand in front of a mirror and think: “The Craigster is looking fine once again!” Probably a nice guy and all, but come on, it’s 2008, somebody needs to ask Sags what the hell is wrong with him.

  • jose

    nothing about wallace busting left handed 3′s over bosh or yao with his 3′s?
    less i missed it while readin

  • John D

    Ray got ROBBED!!! He should have made the team in the first place over Joe Johnson. And Reggie is god-awful. I never thought I’d hear announcing that pissed me off worse than the Joe Buck/Tim McCarver combo, but we’re dangerously close now if not already below that level.

  • John D

    Or above that level. You know what I mean.

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

    Russ I always learn a new word or 27 from you….. Back to reading..

  • TheMC5

    Sager’s suits are ballin. You guys are crazy.

  • Sanchez

    Baron Davis got robbed!
    The NBA: Where the flexibility of a slab of concrete happens.
    LBJ deserved the MVP he did it all night, though I would’ve been ok with Jesus to win (or both, co-mvp’s?).
    Great work on the notes Russ. Almost made it seem that I had to listen to Reggie also. Here in Australia, as it was shown on our ESPN, we had these terrible ESPN guys basically watchin it on tv an doing they’re own commentary, a guy named Mike Brown (no grimmace) and something called a Rick Weitzman. So luckily we didn’t have Reg but we also missed out on Doug and Marv (Nnno!), not to mention Chuck, Kenny and the E.J’s

  • riggs

    when was the last time anyone called shaq superman? its been DIESEL for a long time now (probably ever since he mad that horrible steel movie)

  • riggs

    made* of course.

  • http://www.myspace.com/impulseshopper_acquirente its just alex

    Kermit line was ridiculous.

  • SA

    Reggie is absoletly horrible, it seemed especially worse today because he was stumbling over every word.

  • Phila

    Ray shouldve copped the MVP hardware. Im sick of hearing about the Queen. The Queen didnt even do anything in the end except dunk on Dick. Ray was the one that preserved the win. The Queen didnt deserve it, Ray Allen is the tru MVP.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Great notes, Russ. I don’t know how you got this done while ripping one liners on Lang’s live blog; you should teach a typing class. And yeah, both Marsalis/Connick and Paul/West addressed the crowd/TV audience while reading from a teleprompter on the side of the court that was about as big as the scoreboard.

  • http://slamonline.com Holly MacKenzie

    I second Ben’s comment, Russ. Check your email while you are at it. Ben, CP3 looked so nervous while he was speaking to the crowd, especially so when they started clapping and he had to pause. I was wondering if the prompter continued to roll and he was nervous about messing up! haha. Glad you guys finished your trip off well after the rough start!!

  • namik

    I’m pissed. Not only did I miss the game but I’m up at 5 a f***ing clock studying for midterms. I might be a little delierous. Enough to not be able to spell the word atleast. Holly what the hell are you doing up??? Arent you on the West Coast too??

  • http://myspace.com/dreupt Dre Baldwin

    Sager is supposed to wear that stuff, just to make you talk about him. And it aint his fault Kobe mentioned his tie!

    Good point about the natl anthems (sorry Holly!).

  • http://tadone.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Co-sign what Ben stated. I was in the live blog all night and Russ was commenting in there as much as I was WHILE typing all this. Russ, you are a human typewriter.

  • http://Odenized.com Ryne Nelson

    I thought Ray Allen’s interview after the game was great. He’s become one of the most humble players in the League. It’s players like Ray who make me proud of the NBA.

  • Gumdrop

    Reggie Miller needs to talk to Mike Tyson and fade into Bolivian.

  • http://hiphopdx.com Zee

    I kept waiting for Reggie to shut up, I damn near lost it when Amare boomed on Dwight and Doug Collins said: “I think Dwight wants the ball in the post” Reggie: “Oh you bet he does!” I muted the tv after that.

  • http://mynameinorange.com Hisham

    “Has am injury replacement ever won MVP?” Tom Chambers back in 80-something.. ’87?

  • http://mynameinorange.com Hisham

    By the way i really liked the game. And i knew AI had something to do with that comeback, although it was too bad that he didn’t play more in the second half. Dirk was really “clutch” again wasn’t he? getting his three blocked by wade, and throwing away a panicky pass in the final minute. Prick

  • http://mynameinorange.com Hisham

    Oh and one more thing: I had to endure a whole weekend of lousy dutch commenters who don’t even know how to pronounce the players’ names and just lack any tone or enthusiasm in their voices. I wouldn’t trade them for Reggie Miller

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    I would totally take lousy Dutch commentors over Reggie. In fact, I was going to list three people who would have been worse than Reggie, only I couldn’t think of any. Also, Sager looked like a rodeo clown. I hope Nash really deposited a surprise in his handkerchief.

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com albie1kenobi

    would the west have won if kobe was healthy in the game? instead of a nervous dirk, we’d have kobe finishing up the game.
    chris paul was fantastic last night. he really dominated the game and controlled the tempo.
    all in all, this is the best all star game in years. it really drove home the Platinum Age idea by vince. all star games will be awesome from this point on.

  • http://mynameinorange.com Hisham

    At least Reggie doesn’t call Lebron Leebrun. Or Deron Williams Chris Paul. Or Jason Kapono Peja Stojakovic. Or Jason Capone. Or say Durant like it’s a french name. Or claim that Nash has won three straight MVP’s. But you’re right. Reggie still sucks more

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    Those things are all awesome, are you kidding? I rather would have had Bill Walton waxing poetic and comparing David West to Michelangelo.

  • http://why-bother-reading.blogspot.com/ H to the izzo

    I could say something pitying my lack of NBA coverage but I’m sure you’re all sick of that,suffice to say,if I had NBA commentators,they’d be worse.Oh and Duke lost,I’m happy.

  • http://mynameinorange.com Hisham

    I agree, it’s good for a laugh or two. But i’d still prefer people who know what they’re talking about. Russ, overall, how did you like the game?

  • http://mynameinorange.com Hisham

    I take it you didn’t get to see much of it on TV, Izzo?

  • http://why-bother-reading.blogspot.com/ H to the izzo

    Or any Hisham but anyway…Great notes Russ btw

  • http://mynameinorange.com Hisham

    Well at least you got some regular sleep in this weekend, then. Unless, of course, you’re into staying up till 7 in the morning just doing other stuff

  • http://why-bother-reading.blogspot.com/ H to the izzo

    Hisham:I am.

  • http://mynameinorange.com Hisham

    I am not surprised. It’s been a while since i’ve done it on three consecutive nights though. Its already become a rythm, which probably means I’ll be wide awake until about 3 or 4 tonight. And i gotta work at 8. Oh well

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    Overall the game was sloppy and disorganized as usual–I agree with a comment Kidd made that the game should be held on Friday night BEFORE the weekend of partying. LeBron was epic, though, holy hell. Poor Dirk. And both Ray Allen and Chris Paul were impressive down the stretch. Hell of a game for guys with two first names.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    Also, there’s a TrueHoop link to Wages of Wins, where David Berri says that the numbers indicate that Brandon Roy should have gotten MVP. What? Attention all stat geeks: STEP AWAY FROM THE SPREADSHEETS AND TRY WATCHING THE DAMN GAME.

  • Tuomas

    Actually, I have to disagree with you, Russ. As bad and as obvious as Reggie is, I’d still listen to him rather than Walton. At least I’m able to not even listen to Reggie when he’s on because the only things he’s good at (phew!) is not being loud and not hogging the mic. But hearing “Throw it down!” with every dunk and some ridiculously off-base comment to witch The Big F*cking Carrot loudly and stubbornly hangs onto happening every 10 minutes (minimum), give me Reggie. With Walton on I would’ve just watched the whole game on mute. And you haven’t heard Finnish commentators (then again, why the hell would you) when they used them back here in the 90′s. Now THAT was bad.

  • http://mynameinorange.com Hisham

    Agreed. Although some stretches were really good. Second quarter with about 6 consecutive alleyoops or regular dunks, fourth quarter with lots of made shots, suspense, players stepping up. 1st quarter was a warm-up quarter and 3rd quarter was way too sloppy and just boring

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Did anyone catch Reggie mixing up “moniker” and “motto”? He said something ridiculous about
    defense being the Eastern conference All-Stars’ “moniker”.

  • http://why-bother-reading.blogspot.com/ H to the izzo

    Bill Walton > Reggie Miller

  • http://mynameinorange.com Hisham

    And Ray Allen should go play in Cleveland. That would be fun

  • http://mynameinorange.com Hisham

    Cheryl Miller is just as annoying though. Ugh.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Walton is wayy better. The difference between them is that Walton is knowingly, intentionally ridiculous… whereas Reggie’s commentary is just downright bad.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    I’ll gladly take Bill Walton’s acid flashbacks over Reggie’s moronathon.

  • http://mynameinorange.com Hisham

    Cheryl Miller and Reggie Miller used to be really good at basketball. REALLY good. I respect them for that. Can’t they just sit at home and be happy about that? They shouldn’t be allowed within 100 yards from a mic ever again.

  • http://tadone.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    At least Walton believes the stuff that comes out of his mouth and says it with conviction. Reggie has trouble with the English language.

  • http://tadone.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    And Cheryl is terrible at freestyling jokes.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    I’m really growing to detest Craig Sager too, if I haven’t made that clear enough. His job should be to get a couple of quotes that provide insight and get the hell off the screen. Do I really need to see him getting made fun of by Nash AND Kobe AND every other player he interviews because he’s sartorially retarded? WE GET IT, you’re friends with the players. Congratulations. Take some of your millions, go to Armani, and get a real suit, jerk. YOU’RE NOT THE STORY. The only reason ANYONE cares about you AT ALL is because of who you’re talking to. And the only reason you do that is because it’s your damn job. P.S. Interviews that go on WHILE the game is being played just reinforce the notion that the All-Star game itself is entirely irrelevant. TNT as a whole is great for the NBA, but that practice really needs to stop.

  • Tuomas

    I’m far from sure about Walton being knowingly ridiculous, and I’m also not sure that being a god-awful commentator on purpose is better than being just god-awful. In any case he could be ridiculous in his own basement or in someone’s trunk, not in a basketball game with a mic in his hand. But Reggie shouldn’t have been allowed in the building either so this argument is just a waste of time. They both suck. Much. Anyway, nice to see an allstar game that was actually competitive for a change. And Amare cramming on Howard was awesome.

  • http://why-bother-reading.blogspot.com/ H to the izzo

    Ingame interviews should be destroyed.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    The difference between Bill Walton and Reggie Miller is that, in between all the stuff about the Grateful Dead and the brilliant majesty of the bounce pass and the millions of ways in which Pistol Pete made the Dalai Lama look like Charlie Manson, Bill Walton would provide some genuine insight. If you removed Reggie Miller’s comments from the broadcast last night, you wouldn’t have lost ANYTHING. He’s 100 percent pure annoying.

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

    Russ, I see Sages at Hawks games all the time and even when he’s “dressed casually” he looks moronic. He’s always there with about 12 of his family members and a lot of the time he’s wearing what used to be black jeans.. They’re somewhere between gray and white since he got them in the 90′s. No one really acknowledges him at the game and he doesn’t sit courtside or anything. He’s just a horrible dresser, its not just for television.

  • http://tadone.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    110 percent Russ.

  • Tuomas

    With those pieces of genuine insight being very precious and few plus the ridiculous clearly outweighing the witty, I still wouldn’t want to listen to Walton ever again. But Sager got old real quick too, that much I can co-sign.

  • http://www.another48minutes.blogspot.com Gerard Himself

    Hisham, I know exactly what you’re talking about. The dutch commentary was awful, especially Ronald van Dam. I was complaining about them in every single blog I made this weekend. And yes, I’ve been up 3 nights in a row too. Luckily, I didn’t have to work today.

  • http://why-bother-reading.blogspot.com/ H to the izzo

    Gerard Ronald Van Dam was probably high

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    He’s just an affront to the game. The more court jesters (pun entirely intended) and in-game promotions and crap you pile on, the more ammunition you give to critics who think the game can’t stand on its own. Now, I may be a cynic and a hater and a sarcastic bastard, but I love the game of basketball, and I hate how much the game itself has been marginalized.

  • http://why-bother-reading.blogspot.com/ H to the izzo

    I love Russ for that last comment.

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

    The problem may be due to them trying to entertain the casual fans so they need sages on tv looking like a jacka** to make someone flipping through the channels stop and make a snarky comment. The NBA gave up on trying to appease hardcore fans aeons ago.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    The love of the marginal/casual fan is fleeting. And catering to them is how you turn good things to absolute crap. That’s how you get things like ‘American Idol’ and MTV and Will Ferrell movies and President George W. Bush. I understand it’s all about money, and that’s fine, I guess, but goddammit, I’m sick of it. Pretty soon all the NBA is gonna have left is the casual fan, and as soon as the wind blows in a different direction, commissioner whoever the hell is next is going to be wondering what happened to the real fans. Meanwhile we’ll be watching something like Premiership soccer where they don’t insult the die-hards by doing stupid crap like interviewing players WHILE the alleged crown jewel game is happening. GOD. Not that I’m worked up about this or anything.

  • http://slamonline.com Holly MacKenzie

    Izzo, I love him for it too. On point as always, Bengtson

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    It makes me want to shoot myself in the head with a t-shirt gun.

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

    Breathe Russ

  • http://why-bother-reading.blogspot.com/ H to the izzo

    Having media time-outs really p*sses me off also.I tried to explain this to my brother who isn’t into basketball for forty minutes and got nowhere.The cameras should be filming and not interfering,it’s basketball game not a TV show,which I think people should remember.

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

    And another thing, if they continue to let Reggie Miller speak while a camera is rolling, they’re going to lose all the fans collectively.

  • http://slamonline.com Holly MacKenzie

    ahahahahaah the t-shirt gun. I get unbelievably ticked off when they bring that thing out, along with the freaking mascots… JUST GO AWAY. Seattle was horrible for that because the fans DID get more excited about those damn t-shirts than the game. Ugh.

  • The Best Yet

    I’m so jealous of Hisham for seeing the game and pissed it wasnt on leaugue pass. damn Canal+!
    Regarding Reggie, dude sucks. Voice sucks, watching them razor sharp teeth now braced up sucks. Reggie’s mailbag…worst thing ever EVER. I prefer Walton over him any day. 5 years ago when I was free to watch live games I enjoyed listening to the hippie put things in a way no one else would.
    But my question is this…Is Reggie worse than Isiah in the ’98 ASG? Isiah with that lame “ooooh and ahhhhh” thing.

  • http://why-bother-reading.blogspot.com/ H to the izzo

    Note to the NBA:You don’t actually own basketball so stop f*cking with it.

  • The Best Yet

    i second that, Izzo

  • The Best Yet

    Btw Russ, u dont want dutch commentators. REALLY!!!
    I onced watched a game that Ton Boot (most successful coach in NL) gave commentary on and it was so dull and lifeless. At the end he simple said “The didnt win, but the lost” I no heart the Netherlands

  • http://tadone.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Russ sounds like he is still sick. All grumpy and sh*t.

  • http://tadone.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    But seriously, I understand some of what the NBA does with thier in game promotions and such, because it is about the bottom line for the franchise. With that being said, I completely agree with the in game interviews, side show announcers and commentators, and the circus atmosphere at alot of games is quite a turn off to the hardcore basketball fan. It really is a discredit to the game itself.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    I am still sick. Been hacking up primordial ooze all weekend.

  • http://tadone.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Trust me Russ, I’m just officially getting over being sick for almost 3 weeks and having bronchitis, so I feel you. Global warming what?

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    Yeah, it’s like 65 in the city today. I don’t have health insurance, so I’m gonna be riding this out, I guess. Three weeks sounds fantastic. By the end of it I oughta be in a REALLY good mood.

  • Reggie Evans

    WTH Slam does not have health benefits?

  • http://tadone.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    It’s like 70 here in Virginia today, but supposed to be back down to like 45 tomorrow. It’s the fluctuation of Reggie Miller’s brain. Gotta love it.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    I’m not a full-time employee. It’s a long story and I’m absolutely not getting into it.

  • Slick Nick Da Ruler

    Co-sign Russ’ remarks, I hate the commercialization of pro sports. Are die-hards only supposed to congregate on small websites while their sport is continually bastardized for corporate sponsorships and tie-ins?

  • http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/hoopsgrid/ Jonathan W.

    LeBron is building his legacy already:
    http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/hoopsgrid/

  • Koning JR

    haha, damn i hate those dutch commentators also, you never hear them when a nba game is live and now they come and mess up allstar weekend a lil bit. I can add to the miss-sayings from them..first d-wade was lebron james and then PP was lebron, and then he blamed it on the headbands and said: ‘those damn hairbands’.

  • Slick Nick Da Ruler

    get well soon Russ

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    peak-a-bo

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    Russ i had fun with the flu now you can have fun with this. Oh well at least you got sick in New Orleans…

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    ..you can vomit in forgein places. That would be fun.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    freestyle by BET- Girl fine, breath stank and she smells like vasoline. Cost me $3 to get with her, more than it cost to fill up my imagenary car with a gallon of gasoline. Now she tells me she got no teeth and want double, but i aint having that so i ran off found me a new cheap piece of trouble.

  • daniel

    allen got roooooooooobbed

  • http://www.another48minutes.blogspot.com Gerard Himself

    I’m starting to wonder how many dutch people are on SLAMonline….

  • Aussie Gus

    i found lbj23′s game to be a bit frustrating- no doubt hes the man, but seems he was trying a bit hard comparatively to the rest of the all-stars! seems he was after a trophy rather than playing in the spirit of the game… maybe im just bitter that ray ray got robbed…

  • Aussie Gus

    i found lbj23′s game to be a bit frustrating- no doubt hes the man, but seems he was trying a bit hard comparatively to the rest of the all-stars! seems he was after a trophy rather than playing in the spirit of the game… maybe im just bitter that ray ray got robbed…

  • TheMC5

    Russ, how can I agree so wholeheartedly with half of what you say, yet be so vehemently opposed to the rest? Are you the schizophrenic version of me or something?

  • http://www.gigginonya.com/images/free20kobe.jpg backboard

    dutch guys, thats all fine and all, but if you ever heard the german commentators you´d know whats up….

  • Tom

    the coverage put on here during ASG weekend made the whole thing so much more enjoyable, with the live blogs and the updates from all the other events.. Props to the SLAM crew, and Mutoni, you were killin it in the comments this weekend.

  • Tom

    BTW, Shaq should be required by the league to be on TV during the ASG, he was sorely missed for most of that game. I was hoping Yao would try to go coast to coast to fill the void.

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