There is no question in my mind that Major League Baseball has the best All-Star Game in sports. There is no altering the game in any way, and whether you agree or disagree on it's principles, it does have significant meaning. However, I still wish MLB's All-Star Game had a bit of the spectacle that is the NBA's All-Star weekend. I've always loved the NBA's celebration of it's game, and the weekend long fiesta that it brings. This year was no different. And while it wasn't one of the memorable weekends of it's kind, NBA All-Star Weekend is the kind of pop culture event that has numerous topics to discuss. With that said, here are thing things I took away from this year's festivities:
I understand athletes often tend to have inspirations to be entertainers or the brains behind their own fashion line. While the entertainment part has been proven repeatedly that the odds of a dual entertainment and athletic career is small, this past weekend proved that most athletes have no business having anything to do with fashion.
The fashion statements, or whatever they intended to be, were by far the most standout topic of discussion from the weekend of anything that actually occurred. There are those in the NBA who are really impressive in their dressing, like Amar'e Stoudemire, Chauncey Billups, and Kevin Garnett. However, this weekend we got some of the following outfits that really baffled me:
Obviously, as a die hard Knicks fan I'm all in on Carmelo. However, when it comes to fashion, they guy is about as bad as they come. Seriously, I get the chance to see him night in and night out, including the post-game coverage where he jumps back into civilian-wear, and he's awful. Not sure what he was trying to attempt here with the weird round glasses (indoors of all things) and the awkward knitted sweater under a suit jacket, but he's the perfect example of a guy that should play it safe when expressing himself through fashion.
|From l. to r. - Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durat, and James Harden
I'll simply let Russell Westbrook off on this one as he's just simply out there when it comes to fashion. All-Star Weekend isn't a platform for him since thats just, well...Russell Westbrook. However, Anthony Davis looks like he's on his first day of school, and Kevin Durant and that bedazzled shirt just looked awkward.
|Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley
I can't believe Chuck, who used to admit to not being a role model (fashion included), actually isn't the one we're worried about in this photo. Gold pants and the blue jacket is passable, but what's with the orange tie? It's like Shaq got dressed in a dark room. He does know Buick, though.
Riddle me this, riddle me that...
Like Anthony, wearing sunglasses indoors simply makes you look like a fool. It's fashion overkill in the accessory department. And I can't be the only one that finds something wrong with a 6'8'', two hundred and seventy five pound man wearing leather pants that have an elastic waist band. The shirt is kind of fly though.
I'm not sure who appointed Dwyane Wade as having a keen sense of fashion. I've never understood what he tries to pull of with those hybrid outfits as they are usually weird and just make him seem like he's trying too hard.
|Luol Deng and Joakim Noah
Is it weird that I actually dig Noah's outfit? And Deng isn't bad...well, sans those blue socks.
Well, Sager is known for his wacky outfits, but Kevin Garnett was completely right in calling Sager a Christmas Ornament. Seriously?
One Time Footwear
The other aspect of All-Star games that I am a total geek about are footwear and game gear styles of the athletes. In baseball, I'm all about the special cleats players break out, and of course, in the NBA, it's all about the sneakers. Here are some that caught my eye over the weekend:
Before jumping into the kicks, how cool were the socks some of the players rocked this past weekend? Especially, Kenneth Faried's Spungebob socks in the dunk contest. Athletic apparel companies have been put on notice.
Now, onto the cool sneakers this weekend:
|David Lee - Nike
|LeBron James - Nike LeBron X
The new LeBron's in pink and purple actually do work.
|Carmelo Anthony - Jordan Melo 9
Not flashy, or on par with the usual All-Star footwear, but I'm a big fan of the Melo 9's, and the cool grey's are actually really nice.
|Kyrie Irving - Nike
|Tyson Chandler - Nike
|Russell Westbrook - Jordan XX9's
I thought the new Jordan XX9's were idiotic in design when I first saw them a few months ago, but after seeing them being worn this weekend, I actually am coming around to them. However, I still don't see them being worn for anything but basketball, unlike other Jordans.
|Anthony Davis - Nike
Nike did a fantastic job in creating signature shoes for Charles Barkley during his playing days. The design is still in demand today, and variations like these will continue to evolve.
Uniforms and Other
While I'm a fan of keeping uniforms simple, there was just something blah about this year's All-Star jerseys. Can't really pinpoint it.
However, whoever decided to add those pins/accomodations on the warm-ups in military fashion were seriously trying to embarrass anyone not named LeBron James or Kobe Bryant. Can't you just see one of those guys walking up to someone with that lone star signifying All-Star appearances and saying, "really, that's all you've done?"
Just for the record, Carmelo Anthony had one lone star with an eight signifying his appearances. Truth hurts.
All-Star Saturday Friday Night
I didn't watch the celebrity game as I really believe you have to be either, (1) A Super fan of the NBA or one of the celebs involved, or (2) have nothing else better to do with your Friday night.
However, the best thing on Friday night happened during the Rising Stars game. As much as Chris Bosh got abused during the All-Star game (and I found it highly entertaining), Brandon Knight might never be able to let this moment down.
All-Star Saturday Night
First, was anyone else confused as heck about the whole points system, and which conference earned what, and how the West ended up winning despite only winning one event? Yeah, me too.
In my opinion, the Shooting Stars event which consists of one current NBA player, one NBA legend/retiree, and one WNBA player completing an array of shots in a timed event is probably one of the most fascinating, entertaining, and best made-for-TV events of the night. I just wish they kept it strictly to a team of players representing one city.
As into the Shooting stars challenge as I have become, is as disinterested in the Skills Competition I have become.
As for the three point contest, I was highly disappointed in Steve Novak's performance. Yes, I'm a homer and I was pulling for everyone that dons the orange and blue during the regular season. However, I honestly believed Novak had this locked up. If you didn't see it, or forgot, here is the field again:
OK, maybe my Knicks colored glasses are skwewing my better judgement as Steph Curry, Matt Bonner, and Ryan Anderson can light it up, but never did I think Kyrie Irving would walk out of the competition with the trophy. Especially with that incredible final-round performance. Kudos to him. I think he really became a household name this past weekend.
I honestly believe the dunk contest is not necessarily watered down, but we've become desensitized to it. The dunks performed were pretty tough dunks. Afterall, (warning, pro-New York Knicks comment coming) James White's free throw line dunk with two hands is much harder than the credit that was given.
Especially, from such a weird panel of judges.
In fact, many of Terrence Ross' dunks were spectacular and athletic.
However, the fact remains, unless names we know are in the dunk contest, people will continue to complain.
Personally, as much as LeBron James participation has been dreamed about, I find LeBron more of a spectacular in-game dunker that drives it home with power rather than a creative dunker. However, if LeBron did any of the dunks the masses yawned at last night, he'd have endorsement deals completed, commercials on telvision right now, and SportCenter replaying his dunks about 678,506 times. You know how much they love them LeBron.
Once again, just bloggin'...
The Main Event
I've stated in the past (Give Us Compeitition, The Real Show) I really could go without all of the alley-oops, fastbreak dunks, off-the-back board finishes, and big men shooting threes in the All-Star game. I wished they'd play all four quarters they way they played that last fourth quarter.
|Not tonight Mr. James
You know, the way Kobe suddenly became serious when he looked to lock up a win for his Western conference team.
And with that big block in crunch time, all of the Kobe vs. LeBron arguments began.
Just as long as they end the ridiculous LeBron vs. Michael Jordan debates. ESPN really can be annoying.
Heck, why not just have captains, choose teams, and play for bragging rights. I'm down for that.
Chris Bosh Strikes Again
If this picture didn't create or encourage numerous jokes and continuous laughter...
|Chris Bosh after winning NBA title
...then this one definitely will.
|Oh nooo he didn't!
Oh yeah, major kudos to Chris Paul on an excellent All-Star performance.
Can't wait to do this again in July for the MLB All-Star game from right here...in New York City.