Saturday, February 16th, 2008 at 7:21 pm  |  9 responses

Minor Figgas

No disrespect intended; who doesn’t love H-O-R-S-E?

by Aggrey Sam
I gotta hand it to the D-League: at least they’re willing to try something new, or at least retro. Earlier last evening, while most of the SLAM crew was still in transit, I was at Jam Session inside the New Orleans Convention Center. Following the celebrity all-star game (which I avoided like my life depended on it) and my shift at the PeacePlayers International table, I headed over to the D-League Dream Factory, a skills competition that featured a three-point shootout (typical), a dunk contest (interesting, but regular), a hot-shot game pairing a D-League all-star and a fan and a H-O-R-S-E competition.
The Dakota Wizards’ Carlos Powell and a local kid named Will bested Bakersfield Jam point guard Andre Barrett and a fan named Mike in hot shot, which was followed by an unenthusiastic game of H-O-R-S-E (but props to D-League prez Dan Reed for putting it out there), which pitted Utah Flash swingman Morris Almond (aka “if you drop 50 in the D-League, does anybody, better yet Jerry Sloan, pay attention?”) against the Idaho Stampede’s Lance Allred in the finals. While both players made some difficult shots and I know they’re not NBA players (although they are aspiring), they’re still professionals and the sparse crowd in the arena wanted to see a show. In the three-point shootout, which featured seven racks with three balls apiece, Tulsa 66ers sniper Adam Harrington easily defeated Kaniel Dickens of the Colorado 14ers. The dunk contest, always the highlight of any league’s all-star festivities, gave the night its drama, as Idaho teammates Brent “Air Georgia” Petway and Mike Taylor battled for the crown, with Petway ultimately taking it on a through-the-legs windmill flush off the bounce that brought the house down.
The Dream Factory still has a ways to go, but with some refinement to the H-O-R-S-E contest and expanding fan-friendly features like hot shot and having young fans choose between dunks they want players to pull off (but next time, I’m not sure Tim Hardaway needs to be there; I have no issue with the man personally, but it might be too soon), I see a lot of promise. No Sports Guy (who was actually one of the dunk contest judges; he was probably there to observe the H-O-R-S-E game, as he constantly pushes the NBA to adopt it into its All-Star Saturday format, which I support), but my suggestion is a one-on-one challenge, so fans can actually see the skills of some of the more talented D-League players. Shout out to D-League PR guru Larry Berger, my man Shawn Respert, Kristen Wise from adidas, Jack Washington from McDonogh 35 and all the kids from New Orleans who played with and against the depleted adidas Brotherhood crew this morning at Jam Session. Speaking of which, staying up all night to get ready for that event doesn’t excuse the lateness of this post, but I hope people understand.
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  • http://slamonline.com Holly MacKenzie

    We understand the lateness! Hope you had a good Friday night in NO. Anything to say about Mr. Almond? Nice to see the D-League trying new things to keep people entertained and get some more press. It kills me when I watch the games on nbatv and see the empty arenas.

  • http://tadone.blogspot.com TADOne

    Morris Almond needs a spot in the League. And Brent Petway could win the NBA Slam Dunk Contest if he was there. The man can get up!

  • http://fjsdklf.com Jukai

    Josh McRoberts didn’t compete in the horse game???

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

    Rod Benson. That’s it. Can he play in the NBA? Could he do it? I didn’t see a single thing of the whole D-League stuff going on though.

  • http://slamonline.com Holly MacKenzie

    I love Benson’s blog, would love to hear more about his game as well.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Thanks Aggrey.

  • http://www.lineofthenight.com Shannon Booher

    Wolverine love for my man Petway! Air Georgia!

  • AP

    how goes the peace players efforts in nawlins?I saw that they just started up a site there recently…is it much different than their abroad sites?

  • http://slamonline.com a. sam

    Holly: Morris will be in the League to stay sooner than later, I think.
    TADOne/Shannon: Petway put on a show.
    Gerard: Sadly, I didn’t catch the D-League all-star game to see Benson, but I heard he embarrassed himself on one play in particular. Never try to dunk when you’re under the rim, even when you’re alone.
    AP: PeacePlayers-NOLA will be different than the other sites, if only because basketball is so big in this city. Also, every site, from Northern Ireland to Cyprus and from South Africa to the Middle East, has its own set of challenges. If you’re ever around, come see for yourself.