Game Notes: Vegas, Day One

by September 21, 2011


John Wall #2
Jordan Crawford #5
Larry Owens #3
Rashard Lewis #7
Stephen Graham #5
Javale McGee #1

Chauncey Billups #1
Damon Jones #3
Iman Shumpert #2
Jeremy Evans #13
Roger Mason Jr #8
Jamaal Tinsley #12
Kenyon Martin #6
Dahntay Jones #5
Samardo Samuels #7

First of all, I can’t tell you how great it was to see Damon “Basketball” Jones again. He started for the white team, and his mouth picked right up where he’d left off. As soon as the game started, there was a held ball and the ref called a jump ball. Damon yelled “Great call! Great call!” The crowd — by this point there were about 150 people there — were cracking up. Damon wandered down to the other end of the court, and as the ref was about to toss up the ball for a jump ball, Chauncey yelled, “D Jones, where you going?” Damon hustled back for the jump.

Iman Shumpert with a huge throwdown, on top of a Crawford foul. Next play Shumpert goes right at Crawford and scores, with D-Jones yelling, “He can’t guard you, he’s too slow!” Shumpert was going thru guys getting shots up all night. Really impressed with him.

Jeremy Evans with a weak side block, and his entire head must have been over the rim. Evans was another guy who was super impressive when he was able to get out and run.

After one, score was White 28, Blue 32. Wall with 12. He was pretty much able to go coast-to-coast whenever he felt like it.

D-Jones fired up a long three — He yelled “Short!!!” — and it swished through.

A no. 11 checked in for the blue team, and Mike and I sat there for a few minutes trying to figure out who he was…he wasn’t on the roster, and even the announcer wasn’t calling his name. Turned out it was Jermaine Taylor.

Damon Jones fired up a three from corner — he yelled “Oh that’s off man!” — as it swished through.

White team goes to Samuels in the post, and he backs in McGee. Billups comes around and says, “I’ll get you back,” like he’ll re-enter the ball to him. Samuels passes to Billups and he immediately pulls for a long three that misses.

Samuels dunks on McGee next time down.

JaVale McGee catches in the post, considers for a moment, then takes a hook shot over Kenyon Martin. Kenyon yells “Oh hell f*ck no!” as the ball misses. Kenyon goes to the bench, then turns to the crowd and yells, “Excuse my French people!”

Jordan Crawford squares up in front of the white team’s bench, and Damon Jones starts yelling, “Nope! He can’t hit that! He can’t hit that!” You could almost see Crawford get upset, as he fired up a long shot…and nailed it.

Jamaal Tinsley goes through the wickets on McGee for a layup. The white bench cracks up and yells, “Easy Mel!”

With 2 minutes to go, Wall caught one in what appeared to be the, ahem, lower stomach area. While everyone was quiet, waiting for Wall to catch his breath, Damon Jones reminded the crowd that the white team would be playing tomorrow at 3:30 and promised they’d put on a better show then.

I talked to Chauncey after the game and mentioned how it was cool that he was playing pretty much exactly the way he plays in NBA games — so consistent, so under control. He smiled and said, “I always tell people, that’s the way I play. That’s the only way I know how to play.”

While the first game wasn’t as fiery as the last two, it was pretty cool to be there and see all these NBA players going at it. I think as much as fans or media wanted this to be a League, or some sort of real alternative to NBA action, it was honestly just a series of organized workouts from guys looking to have fun and get in some runs.

I’ll be back to tomorrow to check in again. Let’s see what kind of show D-Jones can put on.