Tag:2012 All-Star Game 2012 All-Star Weekend
Posted on: February 24, 2012 8:34 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2012 8:35 pm

Leonard a last minute scratch for Rising Stars

Posted by Royce Young

ORLANDO -- Spurs rookie Kawhi Leonard will not play in Friday's Rising Stars Challenge because of strained right calf.

I know, big blow to Team Chuck. The question is, who steps up and gets those minutes? Who fits into the rotation there? Big decisions for Charles Barkley to figure out.

Looking at the roster, it's probably going to be Paul George and Gordon Hayward that are going to have to step up big. Because this game is so important.

Leonard was taken in the last four and was drawn by Team Chuck. He's been a pretty productive rookie this season for the Spurs, filling in time at small forward. He's also the second San Antonio Spur to pull out of the Rising Stars game as Tiago Splitter was replaced by Derrick Favors. Are we putting it past Gregg Popovich to ask for a little rest for his young guys? Nah, surely not.
Posted on: February 24, 2012 6:29 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2012 8:19 pm

Pay the winner $1 million and LeBron might dunk

LeBron James would consider the dunk contest, for a price. (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

ORLANDO -- It's been NBA All-Star Saturday's Moby Dick. LeBron James, and his superhuman athletic ability, in the dunk contest.

Without ever really having the intention to participate, LeBron has often dropped hints like he would. He indicated he might during the 2010 All-Star Game in Dallas and then didn't rule out the notion for this year's in Orlando. But LeBron has never intended to dunk.

"It’s not me," he said Friday. "I’m not a dunk contest type of guy. I’m an in-game dunker. I kind of improvise during the game.''

But what if there was a prize? LeBron was asked if someone tossed a $1 million winner-take-all bounty on it, if he'd take part.

"Then I'd reconsider," he said "Wouldn't you?"

Yeah, I definitely would, but I also can't jump-fly like LeBron James. So I'm not entirely sure that's applicable, LeBron.

Not to unnecessarily rag on LeBron here, but like every other player, he loves to talk about how All-Star Weekend is about the fans. It's a showcase for fans to enjoy the game, see the stars and celebrate the NBA. Which is why people want LeBron in the dunk contest. Because it would be a ton of fun for fans. Except LeBron says he'd only consider if you paid him a million smackers. Not a great look.

On the other hand, LeBron is someone worth upwards of $50 million but an extra million is an extra million. And despite LeBron saying he's an in-game dunker, you know he'd blow us away. Blake Griffin said the same thing and I'd say his dunk contest performance was acceptable.

The great ones have all dunked though. Players like Michael Jordan, Julius Irving, Kobe Bryant -- they all took time to do it. That doesn't mean LeBron should feel inclined or obligated, but if it's a status thing, he shouldn't worry about it.

So if you want to see LeBron dunk, start raising some money to hand to the winner. Otherwise, I wouldn't bank on King James playing along.
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