Friday, February 15, 2008

The NBA: Where Lee Happened

During the Rooks/Sophs game the topic amongst the TNT crew turned to David Lee and his 14 for 14, 30-point performance in last year's game.

"I call that guy shallow water because anything in the paint he's good at."-Kenny Smith on David Lee

"You put that guy on a good team and he'd be scary"-Charles Barkley on Davd Lee

The 2008 NBA All-Star Weekend


Here's your schedule for everything on the menu this weekend and a few highlights from past incarnations of these events.

FRIDAY NIGHT:

1. The Celeb Game. No highlights for you. I wonder how many of the "celebs" have shows or films that are owned by ABC?

2. The Rookie vs. Sophomore Challenge. As I've already stated, I dig this. These guys are hungry and trying to impress the actual All-Stars in the first few rows and everyone on Madison Avenue sitting on the couch.

2007 Sophomore vs. Rookie Challenge:


SATURDAY:

1. The Developmental League All-Star Game. I'm intrigued by this. The game is on at some point in the afternoon and I'm going to try to check it out. For some reason, I think it's shortsightedness, the Knicks hate the D-League. That means it must be good.

2. Three-Point Shooting Contest
When talking about the 3-point Shooting Contest there is really only one man: Craig Hodges.


3. Slam Dunk Contest. Ah, the grand-daddy of all ancillary exhibition events. I must admit that I still do look forward to it every year. The incessant replays have deadened the contest a bit but I'll still be watching. I probably like this so much because I've seen two Knicks actually win this thing.

Nate in 2007


Kenny "Sky" Walker in 1989: The key is the flair and the bike shorts.


Isaiah Rider in '94. With a special guest spot by Allan Houston.


And, as a Bonus...

David Lee. Keep an eye out for his secret weapon: his pasty white skin. You think you know what I'm saying, but you don't. Not yet. Watch.



4. NBA/WNBA ClusterF#%K. Do they still do this? I hope not. I'd rather watch the celebrity game. Or, even American Gladiators.

SUNDAY:

1. The Main Event. It is what it is. It also is what it was...

Kobe's First All-Star Game:

I probably wouldn't have included this, but the C.A.R. (rhymes with joking banal papist) won me over with some kind words about the Garden.

1994: No Jordan? No Problem.

#3 is my fave.

All-Time Best All-Star Moments


This is why I'll be watching the game. Hopefully, something Sunday night will end up on the next edition of this video. Maybe those moments can replace all the Isiah footage at the front? Because whoever made this video loved himself some Zeke.

And, hopefully a few more Knicks will have gotten invites by then.

Save the Date: September 6, 2008


It was announced today that my generation's Captain, Patrick Aloysius Ewing, is a Finalist for selection to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Akeem The Dream and Pat Riley are also up for selection in their first year of eligibility and all three seem like no-brainers.

Ewing, Olajuwon and Riley.

A weird combination with so many links and memorable moments shared between them. Also eligible are Chris Mullin, Adrian Dantley, Dennis Johnson, Don Nelson and a few other folks. The selections will be announced during the Final Four. And, the next day I'll start planning my trip to Springfield, MA for the ceremony.

Here's what the HOF website had to say about Pat:

PATRICK EWING - Player, a two-time Olympic gold medal winner (1984, 1992) and a three-time consensus First Team All-America (1983, 1984, 1985), led Georgetown University to three appearances in the NCAA Final Four and the 1984 national championship earning Most Outstanding Player recognition for his efforts. The 1986 NBA Rookie of the Year landed a spot on 11 NBA All Star rosters including ten in a row from 1998 to 1997. A member of the NBA 50th Anniversary Team, Ewing scored 24,815 points during his 17-year NBA career to go along with 11,607 rebounds. Named Parade Magazine's National High School Player of the Year in 1981, Ewing remains the New York Knicks, all-time leader in points, rebounds, blocked shots, steals and field goals made.

Sure sounds like a first-ballot Hall of Famer...

Check Your Local Listings: Rooks vs. Sophs

The best part of last year's All-Star Weekend was the Rookie/Sophomore game, where our very own David Lee won the MVP after going 14-14 from the field to score 30. That night was also the first time that the world (and by world, I mean the two dozen people who watch the Rookies vs. Sophomores game on cable TV) was introduced to Monta Ellis of the Warriors. This year's game is on TNT tonight and figures to be the most competitive part of the AS Weekend that ends up in your living room. If only that would just put the all-night-long, high stakes poker games and c-lo tournaments on ESPN News. Anyway, I recommend checking it out or at least recording it so you can turn it on Sunday night when the vets are missing ally-oops in the big boy game.

The Rookie Team:
Mike Conley
Kevin Durant
Al Horford
Jamario Moon
Juan Carlos Navarro
Luis Scola
Sean Williams
Yi Jinlian
Jeff Green

The Sophomore Team:
LaMarcus Aldridge
Andrea Bargnani
Ronnie Brewer
Jordan Farmar
Daniel Gibson
Rudy Gay
Paul Milsap
Rajon Rondo

My guess is that Rudy Gay will give us a taste of what to expect in the dunk contest while leading the Sophs and that Sean Williams will have a surprisingly good game for the Rooks just because he will run and rebound. And, I'm only 50% saying that because he sort of went to Boston College. Speaking of which, where's Craig Smith?

Around the Internets

Photo Edition

1.
These young Nicaraguans will never hear about David Tyree.

2.
Johan has arrived at Spring Training in Port St. Lucie. It's begun. Although, the Phillies signing of Kris Benson to a Minor League deal does have me worried...

3
Also arriving in Spring Training: Beckett's gut.

4.
Speaking of potentially out of shape stars, Here is Shaq in a Suns jersey. The rest of the team ran three breaks in the time it took the ball-boys to squeeze the Diesel into this thing.

5.
Maybe Shaq and Beckett need to hire her trainer. I think he's free. At least, he's free right now.

Friday's Starting Five

1. Devean George. What would Vegas’ odds have been that this guy would prove to be the single most important factor in the race for the Western Conference crown in 2008? 100,000 to 1? By exercising a no-trade clause in his contract, George effectively halted the Jason Kidd to Dallas deal that broke the other night. And, to boot, he took the floor later that night and went 0 for 11 from the field.

2. Pedro Martinez. Remember him? He's down in Port St. Lucie at Mets camp and feeling as good as he's felt in two years, after getting his shoulder fixed up last season. The one thing lost in the Mets collapse was that Pedro came back in September and was throwing darts. He was 3-1 with a 2.57 ERA.

Pedro on his ability and his health: “Yeah, I hurt because I did it clean, because I never had anything against the clean game of baseball. That’s why I was a prima donna. That’s why I hurt. That’s why I don’t pitch 33 outings every year. Because I have a small frame, and I did it clean. And all I could take was two Aleves or two Advil, a cup of coffee, a little mangu and an egg, and go out there and let it go and face everybody that’s out there. And you know what? That’s the era I dominated."

3. Kobe's pinky. There is a torn ligament in the littlest finger on the mamba’s most important hand. The injury occurred last week while LA was visiting NJ. There is an eerie synchronicity to the fact that Kobe hurt his shooting hand on the very first night that Gasol suited up for the Lakers. It almost sounds like the sort of thing that happens when you make a deal with a certain guy in charge of a certain place located near a certain lake that happens to be aflame….

4. Any Pettitte. Somehow he has managed to become more beloved and more respected as a result of being named in the Mitchell Report. This may make him the most respected Texan in Washington in years.

5. Steve Nash. I wish the Suns were my team rather than the Knicks. Every game they play in is wildly entertaining. Knicks games are very different. The Suns beat the Mavs last night. Many jokes were made across the interwebs about Steve and Dirk being together for Valentine’s Day.

Benched: Jerry Stackhouse. Not to be outdone by his teammate George, Stackhouse began telling everyone that his involvement in the kaibashed Kidd deal only meant a vacation for him. He essentially told anyone who would listen that the Nets were going to buy him out of his contract and that he would be back in a Mavs uniform in 30 days. David Stern may not approve of such forthrightness and this could be more of a problem than George’s no-trade clause.