Posted on: February 19, 2011 8:36 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2011 8:39 pm
Posted by Matt Moore
When I read this, I was pretty bummed. The Dunk Contest is silly, ridiculous, and loads of fun. It's part of the culture of the game, and finding out what everyone's going to do is part of the fun. Which means this spoiler takes quite a bit of the fun out of it. It's bold spoiler alert time.
If you do not want any information on what Blake Griffin will do in the dunk contest, quit reading now. Go watch CBS, instead.
The New York Times first reported and it's been confirmed far and wide.
Blake Griffin will jump over a car in the dunk contest. Look, there's even a picture of it courtesy of SBNation.com.
Not a bad trick at all if he clears it. Of course, if he doesn't, the Clippers organization are going to have a whole other realm of excitement: panic and fear.
Personally, I think it would be cooler if he dunked into the car, as in smashed the windshield in or something. But I like breaking stuff. If he doesn't clear it length-ways, it's going to be fairly disappointing. Also, if he misses, he may die. So there's that.
To see all the previous dunk contest winners, check out our video compilation.
Posted on: February 19, 2011 7:24 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2011 7:39 pm
Gotta go with Ray.
Posted by Matt Moore
The three-point contest is fairly underrated. If you're a real fan of the game, the jumpshot is about as pure as it gets (well, okay, maybe the set-shot is as pure as it gets, but that's lame). Granted, it's a bunch of dudes taking an organized shootaround with a colored ball at the end of each rack, but still. Every time you get to see Ray Allen shoot, it's an art. Or ice cream. Or something.
Here are the tonight's odds for the three-point contest, courtesy of Bodog.com and Sports Radio Interviews.
Odds to win the 2011 NBA All Star Foot Locker 3 Point Contest
Ray Allen (BOS): 2/1
Paul Pierce (BOS): 3/1
Kevin Durant (OKC): 4/1
Dorell Wright (GSW): 9/2
Daniel Gibson (CLE): 5/1
James Jones (MIA): 11/2
Paul Pierce has been pretty up-front with the fact that he thinks the champ should be the favorite. But Allen is the sure-fire absolute best shooter in the game. Durant's not a bad choice here, being the reigning and current scoring champ and all.
We'll continue to be baffled by the absence of Anthony Morrow in these contests, maybe next year the league will rectify its mistake. Until then? We're keeping our money on Jesus. If we had money. Which we don't. Because we're bloggers.
Posted on: February 18, 2011 10:38 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2011 1:46 pm
Posted by Royce Young
LOS ANGELES -- For the most part, the Rookie Challenge was what we expected. The worst defense in the history of everything, lots of dunking, some dumb turnovers and mostly, boring.
But this John Wall bounce pass alley-oop to Blake Griffin made it all worth it. Oh my goodness, did it make it all worth it.
Posted on: February 18, 2011 7:14 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2011 7:25 pm
Posted by Royce Young
LOS ANGELES -- A few interesting items and quotes I picked up from the mad rush that is All-Star media availability:
Posted on: February 18, 2011 6:24 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2011 2:53 am
Posted by Royce Young
LOS ANGELES -- It wasn't a coincidence that DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall and Eric Bledsoe all sat within arm's length of each other during media availability following their Rookie Challenge practice. The three have been separated for a few months, but if just for a weekend, it's like the good old days in Lexington.
"It's great for us to all be on the floor again together," John Wall said. "It's probably for the last time too unless something happens in the future with some trades or something. So it's cool."
The Kentucky supertrio all went separate ways with Wall staying east with the Wizards, with Cousins and Bledsoe stretching out west to Sacramento and Los Angeles.
It was a historic draft night for the Wildcats, with the three players all going in the first round. Wall was taken first overall, Cousins fifth and Bledsoe 18th.
Their rookie seasons have all been similar, but in different ways. All three are on struggling teams that are working to rebuild. All three have had some serious ups and down. Wall has battled some injuries, Bledsoe is getting used to playing as a backup behind Baron Davis and Cousins, well, he's had his own stuff to deal with.
Cousins has had a few incidents early in the season but caught a lot of attention with a locker room scuffle with teammate Donte Greene. But for the 20 minutes he sat next to Bledsoe and Wall, he looked to be right at home. He actually ignored questions at times because he was too busy messing with Bledsoe. When one photographer wanted a picture of Bledsoe and Cousins together, Cousins grabbed his former Wildcat teammate and pulled him over. Never mind that Bledsoe was in the middle of answering a question.
I talked to Cousins following the Kings loss in Oklahoma City which was his first game back after being ruled inactive because of the locker room incident. Of course the Kings had just lost, but Cousins overall mood was night and day different sitting next to Wall and Bledsoe. Whatever it is, you just can't substitute that camaraderie developed playing for a school.
The three have been together so far the entire stay in Los Angeles, Bledsoe said. They try and stay in touch as much as possible, but it's been a challenge because, you know, they're busy. Bledsoe said they still communicate with John Calipari some, exchanging texts here and there. But for the most part, the three have been separated by the NBA.
They were prepared for it because when they all joined up for that one season in Kentucky, they had this vision. They knew they'd get one crack at playing together before they all went on to try bigger and better things. But a serious bond was formed for the three as they wound their way through the SEC and made a good run in the NCAA tournament. And to be back again, sitting together answering questions, even if just for a little while, was nice.
"It's a great memory," Bledsoe said. "Everybody's reminiscing. Just coming in and seeing how each other's doing, telling old jokes. It's been pretty fun."
Posted on: February 18, 2011 5:10 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2011 12:00 am
Carmelo Anthony speaks at All-Star media availability, and affirms no meetings scheduled with Nets or Knicks. Melo says he's "ready for this whole thing to be over."
Posted by Matt Moore
In front of one of the largest media assemblies at All-Star Media availability, Carmelo Anthony faced the throng to speak about his current situation, while rumors fly as heavy as any in recent memory. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com was there to capture Melo's quotes in our live feed .
As he played the verbal tango with the media, Anthony made one thing clear: he's tired of all this. ""There's some things that I'm still thinking about in the back of my head. I'm ready for this whole thing to be over with," Melo said, as he reasserted that he had not scheduled meetings with either the Nets' or Knicks' representatives. His frustration with the situation was evident behind his usual (this season, anyway) cool, collected demeanor. "I'm mindboggled right now about this whole situation," he said. "I just want to get this thing over with right now. I wish there was just something, a legit offer on the table and the Nuggets can say, 'Let’s get it done.'"
He did say however that an extension with the Nets, the matter which is reportedly holding a nine-player deal in pending , is not off the table. ""That's something I'm going to have to think about," but he noted "there are a lot of things that come into play when dealing with that. The superstar was very clear that he wasn't going to get boxed into any decision, and that staying in Denver is still a possibility.
"I've told you guys this since day one, that's still an option," Melo said in regards to the possibility that he would re-sign with Denver. He reasserted that he's said that continuously since the summer, while of course omitting that he's also turned down the opportunity to sign that extension since July. However, he did say he hadn't talked with Denver in months about that possiblity. "I haven't had that conversation since November or December, it doesn't surprise me. It just tells me what they’re trying to do, obviously they're trying to get younger and save money over there. At the end of the day, it’s a business so they’ve got to make a business decision. And I've got to look at it as my career and as a business decision."
"I can't really sit here and say I want to go here or I want to go there," Melo said on his preference between New York and New Jersey, remaining coy while admitting that he was "pretty sure" the Nuggets were negotiating with N.J., giving a little weight to the reports of the past day while still feigning ignorance. Melo did say he was examining the possibility of being traded without an extension. "It’s a lot of situations that I look at. If the Nuggets came to me and said, 'This is a deal that we have, this is another deal that we have', I would have to look into that if my option is not to sign."
But the idea of being a "rental" as Melo referred to it, should he be traded without an extension, does not appeal to him. "Unless they’re trying to get car services and want to rent a car. I really don’t want to have to be a rental. I don’t feel like I'm a rental player. I don’t want to go somewhere and be a rental for two months and then have to deal with this all over again. I dont want to go there."
For all the talk that Melo is the one who can control his destiny, he says that Denver has just as much control over where he ends up. While he can tell the Nuggets where he wants to go, Anthony says it's still their job to figure out what's best for them. "They have to do what’s best for them and their organization, too. So at the end of the day, they can say, forget it, we have to take care of our organization, Melo. He did what he had to do here for eight years, but we have to do what we have to do, too."
Anthony said that the Knicks have a different situation from the Nuggets, because in Melo's mind, the Nuggets are looking to rebuild, while the Knicks are already ready to win. "Far as building, which the Nuggets are trying to obviously do in their near future they’re trying to start all over and build up – and don’t try to flip it on me – but New York already has something there. I think the city is looking forward to briging back great basketball and they’re looking forward to that. So if that’s my destination then that’s something that I can bring to that city."
So if Melo's so big on New York, what would he be looking for in a meeting with Knicks' owner James Dolan? "Just something that I want to look in Mr. Dolan’s eyes and see if he’s really interested in me coming to New York or see if Mr. Prokhorov is interested in me coming to Jersey. Whoever I deal with I want to have a sitdoown with. That’s just proper etiquitte."
Anthony made clear that New York and New Jersey aren't the only options, however. "I don’t think they're the only two teams that I can sit here and say, "Yo, I definitely want to be on those teams or nobody else." The Nuggets have to weigh their options. If it’s a deal with somebody else that’s legit then we all have to sit down and hash that out and talk about it. But time is ticking, man, and time is money."
The most revealing quote from Anthony was that he wanted to see a "legit" offer by the end of the weekend. He's through sitting back and being accepting of what has been happening. "Before I leave here I would love to have something on the table. I would love to have an offer, a legit offer on the table where they can sit down with me and say, 'Melo, this is what we have. Let’s try to figure it out.' But as of late there’s been a lot of things that have been going on in the media, deals in the media that haven't been legit."
"I would love to have something happen this weekend. I would love to have a legit offer to sit down and figure it out."
After six months, this thing may finally be coming to an end. At least Anthony understands the media and fans are tired of it as well.
"This has been a long process for me, for my family, just for everybody, I'm pretty sure it’s been a long process for you guys too, to have to wake up in the morning and deal with the Melodrama."
Maybe this weekend is the breaking point for all this nonsense to end.
Posted on: February 18, 2011 3:04 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2011 3:23 pm
Posted by Matt Moore
Live quotes from NBA All-Star Media Availability from our crew at the event:
Posted on: February 17, 2011 7:53 pm
Derrick Rose, Stephen Curry, John Wall, Russell Westbrook voted to challenge Chris Paul in Skills Competition. But is Rose the favorite over even Chris Paul?
Posted by Matt Moore
The fans have spoken, and they've spoken for the young guys.
The NBA announced Thursday night that Derrick Rose, John Wall, Stephen Curry, and Russell Westbrook have been voted in to join Chris Paul in the Taco-Bell Skills Competition on NBA All-Star Weekend Saturday Night. The crew represents a young field of challengers, with Curry the oldest at 22 (by only about a few months over Rose and Westbrook, also 22), and Wall the youngest at 20.
When we broke down the odds on these guys winning, we just about nailed it, factoring in Tyreke Evans' foot injury which will keep him out of this weekend's action, and putting aside our irrational love of Tony Parker as a spoil sport for the high flying kiddos.
Given Chris Paul's recent struggles which may or may not be injury related you have to think Rose is the favorite here. That's odd to think about considering how he's probably the least "point guard"-esque of the star guards in this league. Stephen Curry is likely the sexy sleeper pick and John Wall the underdog because of his three point shooting (31% from the arc). The fans did right in this one, stacking the competition with young, charismatic guys they want to see instead of rewarding veterans for their history of excellence.
After all, that's what Sunday's for. Isn't that right, Mr. Aldridge?