Thursday, February 24, 2011
Behind The Scoreboard
Let me preface this article with a statement that I am not an avid watcher or follower of the NFL Pro-Bowl or the NBA All-Star Game. The pool of players which is pitted against each other in both of these contests is comprised of the best players (as selected by us, the fans), in the business. In the NBA, it is the Eastern Conference pitted against the Western Conference in a one-game, winner-takes-all affair, no mulligans.
Each roster has a star-studded compilation of 12 players, all super tried and true. I see no purpose in naming all of these players in the rendering, just for the sake of name calling; however, I think the starters from each team should be mentioned for those readers who probably are unaware of the most prominent of the selections. There is another reason which will become clear immediately after they are listed.
Starting for the East, which leads the series 36 all time over the West’s 24 all time – Dwight Howard, LeBron James, Derrick Rose, Amar’e Stoudamire and Dwayne Wade.
For the West, it was Carmelo Anthony (the boy on the bubble), Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul and Yao Ming (who was voted in but did not play because of an injury).
The head coach for the East was Doc Rivers of the Boston Celtics and Greg Popovich filled that position for the West. Each had a staff of six assistants. Why so many assistants? Don’t have clue.
Anyway, if you saw any of the pre-game interviews, then chances are you saw and heard Kobe making the remark of, “Hey, it’s us against the Celtics and the Heat.” Of the dozen on the East’s roster, four came from Boston and three from Miami. The entire James gang (LeBron, Wade and Bosh) were listed.
Going into the all-star break, the San Antonio Spurs (Popovich is their head coach) were leading the league at 46-10. Next was the Miami Heat at 41-15; Boston was 40-14; and Dallas was 40-16.
For me, some of the best highlights (not Kobe getting his fourth MVP, that was pretty much a given, playing in his house) actually take place before the game. Namely the three-point shootout won this year by Miami’s James Jones. He beat out two veterans (Ray Allen, reigning regular season three-ball leader, and Paul Pierce).
But the real highlight was the slam-dunk winner. Blake Griffin, rookie from the L.A. Clippers, dunked over a car. Yes, an automobile parked on the court.
How did they get the car on the hardwood?
Oh yes, the West won.
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